UFC Moscow: Fight of the Night
By Claudia Peterson
UFC Fight Night 163 on ESPN+ took place om Saturday night in the CSKA Arena in Moscow Russia.
The main event was headlined by featherweights Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1) and Calvin Kattar (20-4) in a three round clash.
They were originally supposed to fight on the UFC Boston: Reyes vs. Weidman card back in September, but Zabit had to pull out of the bout due to suffering from a staph infection.
They were then rescheduled as the co-headliner for UFC Moscow, and due to the heavyweight main event changing because Junior Dos Santos was injured, they were elevated to serve as the main event.
Because their original bout agreement stated that their fight would be a three round fight, they fought a three round fight despite it being the main event.
The pairing promised to be good before the fight even took place, and both fighters gave an exciting and very active fight.
Both fighters started off very strong, keeping the fight mainly on the feet, and at a pace that ultimately saw Zabit fade a little in the third round while Kattar turned up the heat late in the fight.
They started the fight exchanging early, and staying within range of each other the entire time. Both fighters seemed comfortable being in range, and were very confident engaging with one another.
Magomedsharipov won the fight via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) and both fighters earned an extra $50,000 in a performance of the night bonus, a very well deserved award for both.
Zabit admitted after the fight that his cardio was not at its best, partly due to having to recover from the staph infection that rendered him unable to fight at UFC Boston in September.
Although it would seem as if Zabit is ready for a title shot, perhaps a five round main event fight with Yair Rodriguez or the winner of The Korean Zombie vs. Brian Ortega seem like more favorable match-ups for him.
And as would be expected, Kattar was the underdog going into this fight, especially because he had to fight in Zabit’s home country as opposed to his home state of Boston as he was supposed to back in September. He gave Zabit a very tough fight, and even though he lost, he proved that he can hang with some of the best in the division.0