Umar Nurmagomedov remained undefeated while delivering an absolutely brutal first-round knockout over Raoni Barcelos at UFC Vegas 67.
Best known for his grappling dominance, Nurmagomedov looked ready to trade strikes on Saturday but a kick to the body followed by a short left hook was all he needed to separate Barcelos from consciousness. As soon as the punch landed, Barcelos just fell backwards in a heap as Nurmagomedov followed him to the ground with the referee quickly rushing in to stop the contest.
The end came at 4:40 in the first round.
Afterwards, Nurmagomedov actually apologized for his follow up punch after it Barcelos crashed to the canvas but before the referee had time to intervene.
“I’m a little bit feel bad. I didn’t see [he was out],” Nurmagomedov said. “I did this very quickly emotional. I feel bad. For win, I’m happy of course. First time I do a [knockout] in my life. Crazy.”
Both bantamweights appeared ready to exchange strikes when the fight started with Nurmagomedov setting up a variety of kicks while Barcelos was firing back with power in his hands. Nurmagomedov looked comfortable on his feet and never appeared to even contemplate a takedown in the moment.
As the bantamweights continued trading on the feet, Nurmagomedov was really starting to dig to the body with his kicks, which forced Barcelos to defend. That’s when Nurmagomedov went back to the midsection yet again except this time he followed with the short left hook that clipped Barcelos and knocked him out cold.
It was an emphatic finish from arguably the best prospect in the 135-pound division as Nurmagomedov moved to 16-0 with the victory. The win also led to Nurmagomedov calling out anybody and everybody in the bantamweight division to step up to his challenge with hopes that he’ll compete again in March.
“I’ll be ready for March,” Nurmagomedov said. “I told [them I would fight] anybody, why my division don’t say nothing? I want to fight with anybody. Where are you guys? I’m here. March, I will be ready.”
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