Khabib Nurmagomedov absolutely smashes Edson Barboza with unsettling ease
As soon as Khabib Nurmagomedov got the fight to the ground, it was essentially over.
How many times have we said that about Khabib Nurmagomedov?
On paper, Edson Barboza was a nightmare match-up for the undefeated Dagestani. He's an elite striker with legitimate knockout power who's stellar takedown defence means he keeps things standing more often than not. However, he never faced a fighter like Nurmagomedov before.
Nurmagomedov was relentless with his forward pressure from the opening buzzer. Marching forward while letting his fists fly making the Brazilian constantly move backwards. A flying knee against the cage later, Nurmagomedov changed levels and brought it down to the mat. From there, it was child's play for the elite grappler.
What transpired next was three rounds of uncomfortable dominance from the Russian. He dominated on top and beat Barboza to a bloody pulp. He landed 160 strikes to Barboza's 24 throughout the three-rounder, which the Brazilian somehow survived until the bitter end.
Although Barboza showed incredible heart, he never came close to causing Nurmagomedov any sort of trouble. The judges' scorecards 30-25, 30-25, 30-24 told the tale of the fight.
— ahmarskhan (@AhmarSKhan) December 31, 2017
After the fight Nurmagomedov, who missed the birth of his son to fight in Las Vegas, claimed he could go back out and fight either UFC lightweight king Conor McGregor or interim champ Tony Ferguson that night. He just needed an hour's worth of a breather.
“If the UFC gives me one more hour rest, I can fight Conor or Tony no problem."
“I don’t think about those two bullshit guys. I think about only me.”
The result sees Nuramgomedov improve his professional record to 25-0 and 9-0 in the UFC. His eight-fight win-streak in the UFC's lightweight division is the second-longest active streak behind Ferguson who has 10. Barboza, on the other hand, has fallen to 19-4 with the loss