x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

MMA: Maro Perak scores split decision victory over Travis Wiuff at Abu Dhabi Warriors 1

Late replacement fighter Travis Wiuff narrowly missed out on victory in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Warriors Fighting Championship card after losing a split decision against Maro Perak.

Nilson Lopes is knocked down by Mihail Cazacu at Abu Dhabi Warriors FC 1
Nilson Lopes is knocked down by Mihail Cazacu at Abu Dhabi Warriors FC 1

Controversy reigned at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Warrors MMA card after former UFC and Bellator fighter Travis Wiuff narrowly lost the main event bout against Croatian Maro Perak.

Wiuff, who took the fight on short notice, lost via split decision by the judges after the fight went all three rounds, though many fans took to Twitter afterwards to express their disagreement with the decision.

Veteran Muay Thai fighter Jose 'Pele' Landi-Jons lost to Ukranian Yevgeniy Mahteenko in the night's other high-profile bout.

The up-and-coming fighter Magomed Magomedkerimov had promised a big knockout victory for his first fight outside Russia, and delivered it in emphatic fashion at the Abu Dhabi Warriors Fighting Championship last night.

The 22-year-old middleweight levelled the Brazilian ju-jitsu specialist Thiago Vella, putting him on his back three times before eventually getting a win by stoppage four minutes and 21 seconds into the first round.

Flavio Serafim opened the mixed-martial art card, scoring a submission victory over Andrew Nicola, by way of armbar, three minutes into the first round.

Both opening matches were the result of a reshuffled card, with Magomedkerimov originally slated to face the US fighter Keith Smetana until Hurricane Sandy disrupted plans for fighters to cross over the Atlantic Ocean.

The fight card suffered another blow as plans to air it live on television in the capital, and around the world online, were shelved at the last minute.

A delayed transmission online was scheduled for overnight, instead. The Brazilian fighter Nilson "Pokemon" Lopes suffered an unsuccessful return to the Gulf following his win at Dubai FC earlier this year, as he was downed by Mihail Cazacu.

The Moldovan, in his sixth professional appearance, scored a referee stoppage due to punches 90 seconds into the third round of their bout in an impressive showing.

The middleweight journeyman Levi Da Costa scored a surprise win over Claudio Conti after the Italian was unable to answer the bell for the third round, while Combat Sambo champion Mikhail Zayats choked out Polish submission specialist Marcin Elsner inside two rounds.

The German fighter Benjamin Brinsa and the Italian prospect Simone "Tex" Tessari both went into their fight with unblemished records, but it was Brinsa who was unanimously judged victorious after their fight went the distance.

The Japanese judoka Kazunori Yokota left it late to claim victory over rival Anatoly Safronov, submitting the Ukrainian with a rear naked choke with just 53 seconds of the fight remaining.

 

ihepburn@thenational.ae