Intent on escaping the shadow of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev had a coming-out party against Thiago Moisés At UFC Vegas 31.
The main event featured two fast-rising lightweights and it was important to see how Makhachev handled a five-round main event. The Dagestan native passed the test with vigor, taking Moisés into deep waters, and ultimately finishing the Brazilian in the fourth round via rear-naked choke.
The Russian outperformed expectations and perhaps justified the -700 favorite status on many betting sites prior to the fight kicking off.
Before Makhachev took on Moisés, the lightweight has looked seemingly unstoppable in the UFC cage. With only one professional loss attached to his name, the 29-year old Dagestan fighter is riding a 9-fight win streak following the rear-naked choke victory against American Top Team’s Moisés.
On the other hand, Moisés compiled a nice streak as of late which includes names like Michael Johnson and Alexander Hernandez. However, his momentum reached a screeching halt on Saturday against Makhachev. Not that it was a blow-out, Moisés had moments in the fight, but the relentless takedown abilities of Makhachev steadily dismantled the well-rounded Moisés.
Miesha “Cupcake” Tate Is Back
Aside from the main event, former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made her much-anticipated return to the Octagon. After five years away from her battlegrounds, Tate returned in stellar form. The former champ was paired with fellow women’s MMA pioneer, Marion Reneau, and took her out with ground and pound.
Admittedly, the long-tenured Reneau divulged that win or lose, this would be her final fight within the organization. Reneau kept to her word, and by night’s end, left her UFC gloves in the middle of the Octagon. Tate’s finish win against “The Belizean Bruiser” stands out considering Reneau has never been finished in her MMA career.
Fighters React To Islam Makhachev Submission Win
The toughness of Moisés was on display but in the end, the blue-chip contender passed the test and snatched up a nasty rear-naked choke to secure the UFC Vegas 31 victory.
In what seems like an omniscient presence, Nurmagomedov continues his hot streak as a coach, now having gone 5-0 with his fighters since transitioning from fighter to coach.
Will Nurmagomedov fight again, or will Islam Makhachev carry the torch permanently?