After a slow start, Sean
turned Abusupiyan
into his personal punching bag.

Strickland weathered his opponent’s sprint — along with a fairly
deep eye poke — in Round 1, then turned up the heat for a technical
knockout victory in the
UFC on ESPN 48
headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on
Saturday night. “Tarzan” brought the show to a close behind a
flurry of punches on the canvas 4:20 into the second period.

Magomedov (25-5-1, 1-1 UFC), who was widely viewed as a
questionable choice of opponent when the fight was announced, came
out firing in the opening stanza — though an inadvertent eye poke
from the Russian in the opening moments almost ended the contest
before it began. Strickland (27-5, 14-5 UFC) was able to recover,
and he spent most of the frame on his heels as Magomedov attacked
with low kicks, front kicks to the body and looping hooks to the
head. The 2018 PFL finalist ended the stanza with a takedown, but
the grappling exchange that ensued signaled the beginning of the
end for Magomedov, who appeared to be visibly gassed after
Strickland scrambled to his feet.

Strickland sensed the shift in momentum as he pressed the action
from the outset of Round 2 behind flurries of straight punches. The
ex-King of the Cage champion kept the pressure on, sticking his
trademark left jab along with impactful right hands. Magomedov
could do little more than cover up near the fence until the
pronlonged assault sent him to the canvas. From there, “Tarzan”
unloaded with approximately 10 to 11 unanswered ground strikes
before referee Mark Smith stepped in to rescue Magomedov. When all
was said and done, Strickland outlanded Magomeodv by a whopping
70-to-15 count in signifcant strikes in the lopsided second

Dawson Dominates Ismagulov

American Top Team product Grant
overwhelmed Damir
with his grappling for the better part of 15 minutes
in a lopsided unanimous decision triumph in the evening’s
lightweight co-main event. The 29-year-old Nebraskan received
scorecards of 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 from the cageside judges to
extend his unbeaten streak to 12. Ismagulov has dropped
back-to-back fights after winning 19 consecutive outings from 2015
to 2022.

While a finish didn’t arrive, it wasn’t for a lack of trying on
Dawson’s part. The former Dana White’s Contender Series competitor
secured takedowns and attached himself to his opponent’s back in
each frame, racking up well over 10 minutes of control time in the
process. Once there, Dawson (20-1-1, 8-0-1 UFC) trapped Ismagulov
(24-3, 5-2 UFC) in body triangles on multiple occasions while
repeatedly hunting for chokes. When the Russian attempted to
escape, Dawson deftly moved to mount and teed off with
ground-and-pound. Outside of landing some solid jabs and right
hands early in Round 2, Ismagulov struggled to author any moments
of note.

Morales Outduels Griffin

Crisp striking and stout takedown defense propelled Entram Gym
member Michael
to a unanimous decision victory against ex-West Coast
Fighting Championship title holder Max Griffin
in a welterweight matchup. All three judges scored the bout 29-28
for Morales, who went the distance for the first time in his UFC

Griffin (19-10, 7-8 UFC) did his best to make it an ugly affair and
for a round it worked, as he landed punching combinations to cause
swelling under his foe’s right eye and slowed down the pace with
takedown attempts and clinch work against the fence. However,
Morales (15-0, 3-0 UFC) got stronger as the fight continued. He
tagged Griffin consistently with straight punches, and notably had
his foe reeling after some solid right-hand connections in the
second stanza. In the meantime, the Ecuadorean’s takedown defense
held up for the duration of the fight, despite Griffin’s multiple
attempts to get the action to the canvas.

Lipski Holds Off Gatto

Former KSW champion Ariane
edged Melissa
via split decision in a competitive flyweight duel.
Judges Sal D’Amato scored it 30-27 and Chris Lee saw
it 29-28 — both for Lipski, while Adalaide Byrd submitted a 29-28
tally for Gatto. Lipski (16-8, 5-5 UFC) has won three of her last
four promotional appearances.

Lipski was the advancing party for much of the bout, as she found
periodic success with punching combinations and the occasional
kick. Gatto, meanwhile, relied on straight punches and grinding
clinch work, but she was unable to land any of her seven takedown
attempts. That led to a potentially key moment in the third frame,
when Lipski reversed a takedown and spent some time in top
position. Gatto, who was returning from a 14-month layoff, has lost
back-to-back outings.

St. Denis Secures Third Straight Finish

Paris native Benoit St.
submitted Cerrado MMA export Ismael
with a rear-naked choke 4:48 into the opening stanza of
a lightweight clash. St. Denis has finished three straight UFC
opponents after taking a brutal beating against Elizeu dos Santos
in his promotional debut.

St. Denis (11-1, 3-1 UFC) began the contest by attacking Bonfim
(19-4, 1-1 UFC) repeatedly with body kicks before changing levels
for a takedown. The Frenchman briefly assumed full mount, but
Bonfim was able to reverse out of the predicament. The Brazilian
flashed his power on the feet, but St. Denis was able to secure a
second takedown and then work his way to his opponent’s back later
in the frame. St. Denis then adjusted the choke, and though it
wasn’t completely under Bonfim’s neck, the squeeze was tight enough
to elicit a tapout. It was Bonfim’s first defeat since July 19,

Ruziboev Obliterates Ferreira

Octagon newcomer Nursulton
extended his professional winning streak to nine,
knocking out the previously undefeated Bruno
in the opening stanza of the middleweight feature.
Ruziboev (35-8-2, 1-0 UFC) ended his opponent’s night just 77
seconds into Round 1. The Uzbekistan native has finished 33 of his
35 career triumphs inside the distance, with 24 of those —
including all nine of his current streak — coming inside of a

Ruziboev set the stage for the finish when he caught a Ferreira
kick and
countered with a big right hand over the top that took the
Brazilian off his feet immediately.
He then followed
Ferreira (10-1, 1-1 UFC) to the canvas to seal his victory with
four massive right hands before referee Mark Smith could

Related Content:
UFC on ESPN 48 ‘Strickland vs. Magomedov’ Play-by-Play, Results &
Round Scoring

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Sean Strickland Breaks Down Abusupiyan Magomedov in UFC on ESPN 48 Main Event