The first fight of the UFC 253 main card saw a Featherweight contest between Hakeem Dawodu and Zubaira Tukhugov. In which Hakeem Dawodu won via split decision against Zubaira Tukhogov
There are a lot of talented fighters in the Featherweight division. Which was perhaps the reason Dawodu has not really gained as much momentum as he deserved. The Canadian fighter has won four straights and he has done that in style. Brutally picking apart opponents with powerful kicks and aggressive punches. Tukhugov was perhaps best known for his connection to Khabib Nurmagomedov and participation in the post-McGregor brawl.
Hakeem Dawodu vs Zubaira Tukhugov– As it happened
As the fight commenced Dawodu started positively as Tukhugov looked a little hesitant and nervous. The latter initially did not connect well, with what some would suggest as half-hearted jabs and punches. But Tukhugov made his way back in the fight midway through the first round, once he was settled. As the buzzer signalled the end of the first round Dawodu may have had the lead on the score sheet.
The second round started with Dawodu landing a spinning back kick to the body of Tukhugov. The latter replied with a stiff lead uppercut to his opponent’s chin. Dawodu got in close and ripped a left hook to the body. The pair then trade jabs. As both went down on the mat, Dawodu was in a better position to take the advantage with a couple of punches. The Russian was unable to do too much with the position and Dawodu momentarily made it to his feet before the buzzer.
The third round could have had all the answers as the duo saved enough fuel in their tanks for a final explosion. Some swelling was visible on the left calf of Tukhugov as a result of a few good leg kicks by Dawodu. The Russian shot twice for takedowns. But Dawodu denied both before landing a clean left hook. Dawodu in the latter minutes of the round came up with a thrashing left hook which must have done well for the scorers. It had been an impressive final frame from the Canadian, both offensively and defensively. As the buzzer sounded it was up to the judges to decide the winner.
Winner- Hakeem Dawodu defeated Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (30-27, 29-28 and 28-29)
Also Read: UFC 253: Preliminary Card Results