Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov watches Dan Moret thrill in UAE Warriors debut — in pictures

American wins headline fight to get career back on track

Dan Moret got his MMA career back on track with success on his UAE Warriors debut in the presence of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The American lightweight returned from three UFC defeats to score a second round TKO over Anton Kuivanen of Finland in the UAE Warriors headline contest at the Mubadala Arena on Friday.

“Winning means a lot for me to get my career back on track,” Moret, 33, said after he sent his opponent crashing to the canvas with a vicious right-hander.

Kuivanen, 35, went down heavily but the Finn appeared to think the referee stopped the contest too early with only a few seconds to go for the bell.

The first round ended with both Moret and Kuivanen trading kicks and punches, and the second was similar until the American used his longer reach to find his target.

“Anton was a technically sound and skilful, and I waited for the moment, and it came,” Moret added.

“Obviously having got over my first Warriors contest I’ll be looking forward for the next opportunity, and hopefully a shot at the Warriors title.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov made a brief ringside appearance and then returned to watch his cousin Usman Nurmagomedov stretch his unbeaten run to eight in another lightweight contest.

Usman, 21, took just a minute and 42 seconds to stop Ukrainian Roman Golovinov with a sharp right hook to the jaw followed by series of blows to the head before the referee stopped the contest.

“Thank you my brother Khabib for watching me tonight and for all your support you have provided me,” Usman said pointing his hand towards Khabib, who watched the fight from the balcony of the Arena.

Tarek Suleiman stopped Australian Steve Kennedy with a rear-neck choke in the Middleweight contest, the other main supporting fight on the night.

“I came here with clear intentions to win and having achieved the result I wanted,” the Syrian said.

“For me, the sky is the limit. Abu Dhabi is like my second home and I’m looking for a title fight in the UAE Warriors.”

The most popular man to appear in the octagon was the Lebanese Ahmed Labban and he didn’t disappoint his fans by finishing his contest in the quickest time on the night.

He took just a minute and nine seconds to send Magomedsultan Magomedsultanov crashing to the canvas with a right hook to the side of the Russian’s face in the welterweight contest.

“I normally use my kicking skills but I had an injury in my leg and used my hands to punch away for this win,” Labban, who had the biggest and noisiest fans behind him, said.

“Having finished the job here tonight, I now want to take a break to recover from the many injuries I have suffered and come back stronger for next year. My objective obviously is to earn a title fight in the UAE Warriors.”

Lucie Bertaud of France won a unanimous points decision over Belgian Kelig Pinson.

“I have been in this business for only a year and improving all the time,” Bertaud said after taking her career record to two wins and two defeats in four appearances.

Updated: November 30, 2019 10:04 AM

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