ABU DHABI – The UFC has two title fights on tap as it returns to Abu Dhabi for another event in 2021.
Lightweight champion Jan Blachowicz (28-8), from Poland, will try to defend his belt against Brazil’s Glover Teixeira (32-7). Blachowicz won the title in September 2020 with a knockout victory over Dominick Reyes, and then defended the belt against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya earlier this year. He has won nine of his last 10 matches.
Teixeira is without a doubt the best performer of his career at the age of 42. This is his second shot at the UFC lightweight title, with a loss to Jon Jones in 2014 that lies well in the past. There will be 2,744 days between title shots for Teixeira, who are determined not to let this opportunity slip away.
In the co-main event, former champion Petr Yan (15-2) meets Cory Sandhagen (14-3) for the temporary bantamweight championship. Yan lost the bantamweight title to Aljamain Sterling and expected a rematch at UFC 267, but Sterling was removed from the card due to an injury. Sandhagen comes after a loss to former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, but had established his name as a top challenger in the division since 2019.
Also on the map, lightweight title challenger Islam Makhachev (20-1) will face Dan Hooker (21-10), and welterweight Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) will make his first appearance in 2021 against Li Jingliang (18-6).
Follow Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim as they sum up all the action and / or watch the matches on ESPN +.
Match in progress: Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (22-7, 8-3 UFC, -230) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (8-0, 0-0 UFC, +190)
Light Heavyweight: Michal Oleksiejczuk (16-4 1 NC, 4-2 1 NC UFC) def. Shamil Gamzatov (14-1, 1-1 UFC) after first round TKO
Oleksiejczuk never took a step back. He ate a few strokes as he advanced, but dished up much more, and the punishment and pressure quickly began to show on Gamzatov’s face as he was pursued and chased until a left uppercut fell on him and led to a ground- and-pound ending at. 3:31. It was Gamzatov’s first loss.
Oleksiejczuk, a 26-year-old from Poland, scored his 11th knockout of his career, the eighth in the first round. He has won two in a row after suffering through a losing streak in two games.
I was never high on Oleksiejczuk’s “herky-jerky” style, but then I realized how effective he was at going to the body and keeping a relentless pace. This opens up his opponents for hard shots upstairs. That’s the cool thing about MMA. It does not always have to be after the book! # UFC267
– Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) October 30, 2021
Gamzatov, 31, from Russia, had not fought since making his UFC debut in 2019. He was on the back foot all the way, swapping punches while trying to get out of the way of Oleksiejczuk’s aggression. He could not do so and was eventually caught.
Middleweight: Men’s Featherweight: Lerone Murphy (11-0-1, 3-0-1 UFC) def. Makwan Amirkhani (16-7, 6-5 UFC) after knockout in second round
Murphy knew Amirkhani would shoot for a takedown. And boy, he did not miss.
Amirkhani appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie. Amirkhani was knocked out by contact. The end of the match came after 14 seconds of the second round. Amirkhani was down for quite some time after KO but was able to sit up on the stool after getting to.
“After the first left hand, I saw him dip, dip and I knew the knee would be there,” Murphy said in his postfight interview.
It was beautiful
– Sean O’Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) October 30, 2021
In the first round, Amirkhani completely dominated with his wrestling and grappling. He took Murphy down right from the bat and stuck to him the rest of the round. At the start of the second, Murphy was clearly aware that a takedown was on the way and he timed the knee perfectly.
The undefeated Murphy, 30, has 3-0-1 in the UFC. The English native seems to have potential in the featherweight division. Amirkhani, a 32-year-old Iranian fighting out of Finland, has lost three in a row and four out of five.
Middleweight: Andre Petroski (7-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Hu Yaozong (3-2, 0-3 UFC) by submission in third round
Petroski spent 14 minutes and 46 seconds in full control, landing hard blows, landing takedowns and seizing dominant positions to threaten submission attempts. Hu hung on it all, until finally, with 14 seconds left of the final round, an arm triangle choker got the task done for Petroski.
For Petroski, 30, of Philadelphia, it was his second third round in two UFC fights. All his seven victories have come to an end. This was the third final finish ever in a three-round UFC middleweight fight.
Hu has lost all three games in the Octagon after entering the UFC with a record of 2-0. The 26-year-old from China had not competed since 2018 and the latest match was in light heavyweight. The fight before that, House UFC debut, was in heavyweight.
Men’s Flyweight: Tagir Ulanbekov (14-1, 2-0 UFC) def. Allan Nascimento (17-6, 0-1 UFC) by split decision
Ulanbekov’s takedowns and top plays outweighed Nascimento’s submission attempts and aggressive guard in the judges’ eyes.
Ulanbekov got a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) victory with relentless takedowns and fights. Nascimento had moments, including Kimura and armbar attempts in the second round with elbows mixed from scratch. But the referees seemed to prefer Ulanbekov’s ability to change position.
The best moments in the match for Ulanbekov came in the first round when he almost sent Nascimento with a guillotine in mount. Nascimento was able to escape somehow.
Ulanbekov, 30, has won five in a row, including his first two in the UFC. Dagestan natives have established themselves as someone to look at in flyweight. Nascimento, a 30-year-old Brazilian, made his UFC debut here.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jan Blachowicz (c) (28-8, 11-5 UFC, -300) vs. Glover Teixeira (32-7. 15-5 UFC, +240)
Men’s bantamweight temporary championship: Petr Yan (15-2, 7-1 UFC, -220) vs. Cory Sandhagen (14-3, 7-2 UFC, +180)
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (20-1, 9-1 UFC, -625) vs. Dan Hooker (21-10, 11-6 UFC, +450)
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov (33-9, 7-3 UFC, -300) vs. Marcin Tybura (22-6, 9-5 UFC, +240)
Welterweight: Li Jingliang (18-6, 10-4 UFC, +425) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0, 3-0 UFC, -575)
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev (15-1, 6-1 UFC, -310) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (17-5, 5-4 UFC, +250)
Strawweight: Amanda Ribas (10-2, 4-1 UFC, -160) vs. Virna Jandiroba (17-2, 3-2 UFC, +135)
Men’s Featherweight: Ricardo Ramos (15-3, 6-2 UFC, +145) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (19-5-1, 4-2-1 UFC, -170)
Middleweight: Albert Duraev (14-3, 0-0 UFC, -360) vs. Roman Kopylov (8-1, 1-1 UFC, +280)
(c) = defending champion