Khabib Nurmagomedov is the UFC Lightweight Champion after a dominant five-round unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 on Saturday. Nurmagomedov showed some suspect defense in the standing game, but was never really in danger, beating the last-minute replacement in all five rounds, some so convincingly that they were 10-8 or even 10-7.
Nurmagomedov officially won, 50-44, 50-43, 50-43. And he saw fit to call out both Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor in the post-fight interview. In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jędrzejczyk combined for a fight of the year candidate that went all five rounds. In the end, Namajunas edged out Jędrzejczyk to hold on to the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship, taking a 49-46 on all three scorecards.
“I’m just better, man,” Namajunas said, after admitting that Jędrzejczyk potentially suffered from a bad weight cut in their first meeting. That first meeting was a first-round knockout win for Namajunas. This one looked like it might be more of the same as Namajunas was very fast and active through the first two rounds, landing the more precise shots and avoiding Jędrzejczyk. SB Nation scored the third and fourth rounds for Jędrzejczyk though, as she began to find her timing while Namajunas slowed down. But in the fifth, Namajunas took back over and landed some hard shots that seemed to affect Jędrzejczyk’s ability to see clearly, and convincingly won the fifth round.
Going into the main event, Iaquinta was coming off a five-fight winning streak that included a first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez in his last bout. Joe Lauzon’s corner threw in the towel after the second round of his main card opener against Chris Gruetzemacher, and it was the right decision. Gruetzemacher was in control of the bout and arguably had a 10-7 round in the second. After that was a thrilling three-round fight between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak. Magomedsharipov used his range to pepper Bochniak over three rounds, though his opponent never gave up and kept coming forward for a very impressive matchup.