Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

World champion Khabib Nurmagomedov watches cousin Usman on a dramatic night at UAE Warriors 12 in Abu Dhabi

Usman stretches his unbeaten record to ten fights

World champion Khabib Nurmagomedov watched his cousin Usman stretch his winning streak to 10-0 during a dramatic night at UAE Warriors 12.

The event at Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Arena was held behind closed doors but live on Abu Dhabi Sports and gave fans a glimpse of lightweight superstar Khabib supporting Usman on his big night.

Appearing in the catchweight 71kg, Usman took-down his Finnish opponent Jerry Kvarnstrom with a judo sweep, and then landed a barrage of punches before the referee stopped the contest in round one.

Bruno Machado and Lee Do-gyeom proved they have the talent to step up to UFC level after emerging resounding winners of their Mixed Martial Art title fights, the highlights of the 10-fight card.

Machado, 33, took his record to 12-9 and is undefeated in three UAE Warriors appearances after stopping former UFC fighter Mike Santiago in round two with an anaconda choke to take the all-comers lightweight title.

“I know my level,” the Abu Dhabi based Brazilian said after his title win. “I can show everyone I have UFC level.

“I know he (Santiago) is high level. He has had three fights in the UFC. He is a tough guy.

“I throw a lot of hard punches at him but he stood at the centre. I was a bit shocked at the beginning when I punched straight with my elbow but he came forward.

“He hit me and I was like ‘aah, aah’. But thank you so much for Mike to travel all the way from the US to face me with just under two weeks of preparation for this fight.”

Machado dominated the fight and landed more punches to leave Santiago’s nose bloodied. He then continued to score from punches before taking the American down with a judo sweep.

“I wanted to punch him more but I heard my corner saying to take him down,” he said after using his jiu-jitsu skills to turn over Santiago for the anaconda choke.

“He didn’t tap to stop the fight and that shows he is tough. Of course, now I’m looking forward to defend this title and hopefully I can face Danny Moore (whom he was originally slated to meet before being ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19).

“I want to prove my level as same as the UFC, and I wish I get the opportunity.”

Lee ended Romanian Alexandru Chitoran’s four-fight unbeaten run with a crushing right knee to the jaw to retain his featherweight title in round one.

“As usual, I bring several martial arts in my game and I was glad that I managed to win the fight in the first round,” Lee said.

“The UAE Warriors has taken me to the next level and I want to represent the UAE Warriors at the UFC. ‘Hello UFC, if you want to call us, call us, we want to represent this organisation at the next level’.

“In South Korea we have a hell of a team down there, and last but not the least, I want to thank my coach Mario Kim to bring me to this level.”

Ahmed Al Darmaki paid the ultimate price for a moment of madness after winning his bout against debutant Bogdan Kirilenko of Uzbekistan.

The Emirati had his opponent in a rear-naked choke towards the end of round one but after Kirilenko tapped out, Al Darmaki refused to let go of his neck.

Referee Marc Goddard tried to pull away Al Darmaki’s hold, and the Emirati reacted by pushing him multiple times. As a result, Al Darmaki was disqualified and Bogdan declared the winner.

Yousef Al Housani secured his second win in as many professional appearances, taking just 19 seconds to floor Indian Mohamed Fargan, a late replacement for Sri Lankan Mohamed Arsharq Ali.

Updated: August 1, 2020 12:26 PM

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