The scorecards don’t reflect how close this tangle was,
but the Fight of the Night bonus sure does. Two emerging
lightweights who have made their presence quickly known in the
UFC’s talent rich division this year went tit-for-tat in a
exciting three round decision as Rustam “Tiger”
Khabilov got the nod over Jorge “Gamebred”
Entering the bout both fighters were 2-0 inside the Octagon, the
Jackson-Winkeljohn prospect Khabilov had scored back-to-back KO/TKO
wins and the American Top Team veteran Masvidal earned a unanimous
decision in his debut before choking out Michael Chiesa in July.
The opening two rounds showed how even the well-rounded fighters
were with both giving as good as they were getting, but Khabilov
came forward and pushed the action more than the natural counter
fighter Masvidal. The first was Khabilov’s for sure, but the
second appeared more up for grabs.
In the final round, Khabilov continued to have a lot of trouble
scoring any of his highly-regarded takedowns as the two mostly
duked it out on the feet. What really sealed the deal for the
“Tiger” was a spinning back kick, which caught
“Gamebred” high and dropped Masvidal badly.