Islam Makhachev was victorious in the headliner of the UFC on ESPN 26 last night, beating Thiago Moises. At the same event, we saw Miesha Tate beating Marion Reneau, marking her comeback from retirement with a victory.
Makhachev once again proved that he is one of the best fighters in the UFC lightweight division, extending his victorious streak to 8 victories, currently the fourth-longest in the organization. At the moment, he has just one defeat in 10 UFC battles, and the only one who had the better record in this division was his mentor, the former undisputed and undefeated champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Khabib and Makhachev were long-time friends and sparring partners, and during the Russian Eagle’s reign in the octagon, Makhachev was constantly by Khabib’s side. Without any doubt, we can say that he learned a lot.
Islam Makhachev wins via RNC in the 4th. Dominant. Impressive. Again.
Would love to see him fight a top 5-7 guy next. It’s time. RDA or Chandler type. Let’s go.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 18, 2021
Throughout the entire battle, Makhachev was all over the rival, who couldn’t do anything to either attack or protect himself. Moises experienced one hard beating, which started immediately in the first round.
Fired-up, Makhachev went out and started throwing punches before taking down Moises to the mat, where he unleashed hard strikes that would leave a mark on Moises’ face. It was obvious following this sequence that the Brazilian isn’t going to have a pleasant experience.
The second round was slightly better for Moises, who slowed down the rival’s attacks, but that turned out to be just temporary. Makhachev pumped up the tempo in the third and the fourth, which lead to a stoppage and another win.
At 2:38 of the fourth period, the referee stopped the fight after seeing Moises’ tap. The Brazilian had to back out as Makhachev reached into a position for a rare-naked choke and firmly caught his rival into a trap. There was no way for Moises to run away this time.
The Russian fighter is one of the best in the division, and even though he sat 8th in the standings before tonight’s event, many believed that he actually deserves a much better position. He had a few injury setbacks that prevented him from attacking the title earlier and also experienced a few turndowns by other rivals. Makhachev didn’t miss a chance to mention that following the battle tonight.
“Why all these guys run?” Makhachev said. “Nobody wants to take this fight. Please give me an answer.”
For his next target, the 29-year old picked the former champion, Rafael dos Anjos, saying that he can’t hide from his challenge now.
“You can run, but you can’t hide. I am here.”
In the co-main event of the night, the former UFC bantamweight champion, Miesha Tate, defeated Marion Reneau via TKO at 1:53 of the third round. Following a five-year absence, the 34-year old decided to come back into the octagon and performed quite well actually.
Tate won the title in 2016 against Holly Holm, then lost it against Amanda Nunes a few months later. Near the end of the same year, Tate decided to walk away from MMA after her unanimous decision loss to Raquel Pennington.
She dominated tonight’s bout from the start until the end, not giving the slightest chance to Reneau to retire with a win. This was the final battle for the 44-year old veteran who ended her MMA.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.