Official result: All three judges score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Shane Roller.
Constantinos Philippou vs. Riki Fukuda
The southpaw Fukuda circles the outside, flicking out a range-finding jab and landing some outside leg kicks. Philippou switches stances, plunks Fukuda with a few straight, snapping punches. Fukuda dives on a single-leg and presses Philippou against the fence as he works to bring the ex-boxer to the ground. Philippou goes to a knee but does well to defend, hops back up and shoves Fukuda away after eating some punches inside. Philippou is starting to find his range with his right hand, while Fukuda is doing better in close quarters. A left hand lands for Philippou and then a right high kick, and Fukuda wants to tie up. Philippou denies it and keeps picking his punches in the final minute of the round.
Philippou circles the outside to start round two, countering Fukuda’s bombing combos and even faking a shot before dinging the former Deep champ with a nice hook. Fukuda gets inside and puts Philippou on the fence, mugging inside with uppercuts before letting the Serra-Longo product loose. Fukuda’s left eye is swelling up as Philippou puts another right hand on it; Fukuda answers with a slapping leg kick. Philippou is pawing at his eye; he throws a straight right and is countered low with a Fukuda kick. Philippou comes off his back foot to move forward and takes a glancing low kick on the cup. It’s not bad and Philippou is soon back to action. Fukuda slugs with a straight left, throws a low kick and is countered with a Philippou right hand. A nice series of hooking combos closes out the round for Philippou.
Fukuda whiffs on a leg kick, catches Philippou with a hard left cross and takes a right hand in return. Pressing Philippou into the fence, Fukuda lands a couple stiff shots to the body before being shoved away. Nice right hand from Philippou and he’s on his bike again, letting Fukuda give chase with 3:30 remaining in the bout. Philippou throws a three-punch combo, landing hardest with a wide right, and ducks away from a Fukuda combo. Fukuda presses in for a single-leg and is wholly denied, then turned away again to resume striking. Fukuda thuds a kick to Philippou’s body, but he simultaneously poked Philippou in the eye. Philippou is in agony, shouting as he drops to his knees. Referee Steve Mazzagatti calls the cageside doc in to have a look and they give Philippou a moment to recover. Philippou says he’s ready to go and the middleweights are back to business with 1:45 remaining. Philippou comes forward now and instead of pausing, he screams and moves ahead when Fukuda catches him in the cup with another kick. He drops Fukuda to a knee, but the Japanese fighter stands back up and puts Philippou on the fence. Philippou won’t stay there and circles away , wiping his eye before throwing more counterpunches when Fukuda comes inside. A stiff right hook from Philippou closes out the bout.
Official result: The judges score this bout 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Costa Philippou.
Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nurmagomedov circles the perimeter throwing single punches over the top while Tibau throws more compact punches, with neither finding success in the opening 90 seconds. Quick high kick flashed by Nurmagomedov but it’s deflected as the lightweights work in the middle of the cage now. Nurmagomedov grabs a single-leg and bullies Tibau into the fence to try and finish the takedown. Tibau defends well and Nurmagomedov can’t finish against the cage. Tibau is denied on a single-leg of his own inside the last minute, then hops around to defend one from Nurmagomedov. The Russian stays after it, can’t get it and settles for a knee in the clinch as they exit.
It’s tentative striking through the first minute of round two, with Nurmagomedov swiping at the body and Tibau finally throwing a blocked body kick. Single-leg try from Tibau is stuffed and Nurmagomedov goes for one of his own on the fence. Tibau does well to keep his balance once again, hopping around on one leg while throwing punches and breaking off with a knee. Tibau muscles Nurmagomedov to the ground, but the Russian hops back up and goes right after the single again. Tibau puts his back on the fence and shuts it down again. Nurmagomedov lets up on the takedown try for a moment, just long enough to land three punches over the top, his hardest offense of the fight. Ref Mario Yamasaki splits them up a moment later, 50 seconds left in the round. Nurmagomedov misses wide with a lead uppercut and gets put on the canvas face-first, but Tibau lets him back up. Nurmagomedov continues to miss with his punches in the closing seconds but finds a right hand before the horn.
Both guys paw and miss with punches both short and long in the opening minute of the final frame. Nurmagomedov has a high kick deflected off Tibau’s forearms but snaps one low on the Brazilian’s legs. Waistlock on the fence turns into yet another single-leg by Nurmagomedov, and again Tibau stays vertical, punishing with knees inside as he does. Nurmagomedov breaks off and scores a right hand but is taken down by Tibau soon after. Tibau spins to try and take the back, can’t secure it and allows Nurmagomedov back to his feet. Nurmagomedov pushes Tibau into the cage again and ref Yamasaki warns the K Dojo fighter not to grab the fence as he keeps Tibau in place. Tibau breaks off with about 80 seconds left in the fight. Tibau stands in front of Nurmagomedov and nods out of the way of the Russian’s wild haymakers, occasionally scoring with a counter and stuffing one last takedown before the end of the bout.
Official result: All three judges score the bout 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Khabib Nurmagomedov. The crowd boos the baffling verdict as... (Continues on next page)