This Fight Night card begins in Brian Ortega vs Korean Zombie Live Stream the bantamweight division, which is where last week’s ended between Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Moraes. Nurmagomedov (13-2, 2-1 UFC), cousin of UFC lightweight champ, kicks things off by welcoming Striegl (18-2, 0-0 UFC) to the promotion. Referee Lukasz Bosacki will oversee this opening clash, and with a touch of gloves, away we go! Striegl stays on the outside and avoids a low kick, but when he closes the distance, Nurmagomedov lands a low kick and a right hand immediately after. Nurmagomedov flips up a head kick that gets blocked, and Striegl scores a leg kick. Striegl rushes in and gets clipped with a left hand, and he falls off-balance.
A pair of former UFC title challengers will collide on Fight Island on Saturday night as Brian Ortega takes on Chan Sung Jung, also known as the Korean Zombie, at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi. Dana White says the winner of this bout will receive the next shot at Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight title.
Ortega (14-1) returns to the Octagon for the first time since a failed title bid at UFC 231 nearly two years ago. He was easily defeated by then-champion Max Holloway at that event, and while making his comeback he suffered a partial ACL tear that sidelined him further. Jung (16-5) will look to solidify his second shot at a UFC championship. He fought Jose Aldo for the 145-pound title back in 2013.
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Vaulting up to the light heavyweight division, it’s an all-Russia battle as Antigulov (20-7, 2-3 UFC) comes to blows with Grishin (30-8-2, 0-1 UFC). The third man inside the Octagon is referee Anders Ohlsson, and there is a sporting glove touch to check this match in. Both heavy hitters keep their distance in the early going, and there is not a single worthwhile strike thrown for the first minute until Grishin slaps a light leg kick.
Grishin paws out his left hand to find his range but he is not throwing it, and he kicks the lead leg again. Grishin kicks from the outside, leading to Antigulov crash forward and attack a single leg takedown. Grishin stuffs it and gets pressed to the cage, where Antigulov grinds on him and lands a few knees to the midsection. Antigulov gets off a shoulder strike or two in the process, but Grishin manages to gain separation and they return to the center of the cage. Antigulov charges in and gets dinged with a left hand on the way in, but he still engages in a clinch for a moment until Grishin pushes off.
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Antigulov swings and misses with a looping left hand, and he closes the distance to mash “Maximus” against the cage wall. Grishin pushes away, strings together a stiff combination of punches, and punctuates it with a heavy leg kick that makes Antigulov’s knee buckle. Antigulov fakes a spin and draws a wide reaction from his opponent, but he returns to his stance, and then switches it. Antigulov bull-rushes his opponent with punches, and Grishin ducks them and avoids the brunt of their impact on his guard. Grishin lands a jab and a leg kick at the horn.
Grishin leads off the round with a leg kick, and he is well out of the way when Antigulov flings a spinning kick at him. Grishin pushes forward and Antigulov grabs hold of him and takes Grishin’s back. Antigulov manages to drag Grishin down to a knee, and puts his full weight on his opponent as he gets elbowed in the face. Antigulov gets a hook in but Grishin is tight to the fence to prevent the other hook,
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so Antigulov lets the hook go to knee Grishin in the thigh repeatedly. Antigulov swirls around to attack a takedown, and he elevates Grishin and sets him down. Grishin scrambles, gets to his feet, and reverses the position to get Antigulov pushed to the cage on a knee. Antigulov turns him about, scores a right hand and considers a takedown, but when Grishin stuffs it, he bails.Antigulov pursues a takedown but gets swept and put on his back, and as he falls, he latches on to a guillotine choke. Grishin stays calm, pops his head out, and takes full mount where he starts unloading with strikes. Antigulov pulls his toes through the fence but in the process, Grishin is slamming him in the forehead with heavy elbows. Grishin keeps scoring on top while Antigulov is trying to defend himself, and his elbows and punches are adding up fast. When Grishin gets a little too high in mount, Antigulov sneaks out the back door and pops to his feet. Antigulov charges in and snaps Grishin’s head back with a right hand, leading to Grishin try to take the fight down. Antigulov bullies him on the fence with a few knees, but Grishin turns him around and rips the body several times
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This fight is filled with bad blood and a saga that escalated earlier this year at UFC 248. After a number of false starts, we finally will get to see these two go at it with incredibly high stakes on the line.
Saturday night’s card, which will air exclusively on ESPN+, also features former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (20-8) making her UFC flyweight debut against Katlyn Chookagian (14-3). Andrade will become just the second female fighter in UFC history to fight in three divisions, joining Valerie Letourneau. Chookagian is No. 3 in the ESPN women’s flyweight rankings, while Andrade is ranked fourth at strawweight.
French lightweight Fares Ziam (11-4) squeaked out a unanimous decision win over Jamie Mullarkey (12-4), in a closely contested fight that some certainly scored for Mullarkey.
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The 155-pound matchup showcased a difference in styles, as Ziam appeared happy to stay on the outside and use his length, while Mullarkey constantly looked to close the distance and get the fight to the ground. Both had success, as UFC Stats showed a close tally in overall strikes. Ziam landed 54 to Mullarkey’s 29, although Mullarkey added five successful takedowns.
Mullarkey, of Australia, appeared stunned as unanimous 29-28 judges’ scores were read in Ziam’s favor. He did his best work in the second round, landing several solid elbows from top position and nearly taking Ziam’s back. He had some success in the third round on the floor as well, although he allowed Ziam to sweep him and move into a favorable position in the final moments of the fight.
It drops Mullarkey to 0-2 in the UFC. This was his first appearance of 2020. Ziam picks up his first win inside the Octagon in two tries. He suffered a decision loss to Don Madge in his UFC debut in September 2019.