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New FSM Essential Recap: UFC on ESPN – Makhachev vs Moisés


UFC on ESPN was a stage to showcase a possible future star of the division who didn’t disappointment.


Makhachev vs Moisés
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The UFC returned to ESPN to showcase some of its up and coming talent in the lightweight division, which featured two warriors in their first main event as Islam Makhachev improved to 20-1, earning his ninth submission of his career and second in a row as he forced Thiago Moisés ( 15-5 ) to tap out via rear-naked choke in the fourth round.

For Makhachev, this was his chance to not only get his first of what could be many main event cards but to show that the hype behind him is legitimate, and he could very well be the next leader of the Russian invasion in the men’s 155lbs ranks. He pushed forward from start to finish, applying his signature pressure that continues to rattle and shake opponents out of their comfort zone and disrupts what would be their initial gameplay. Instead, they find themselves playing more defense than offense and, sooner or later, find it overwhelming to hold off the Russian as he has a motor to keep this sort of attack up round after round. Cutting off the cage whenever Moisés would try to circle away, Makhachev consistently kept his foe pressed against the cage, taking away any movement once he would shoot in for a takedown.

Vicious ground and pound allowed Makhachev to have his way the majority of the fight until the end, but credit should be given to Moisés as he had brief moments where it looked like he could land an upset. On one occasion, he had what looked to be the start of a heel hook but didn’t have the right angle to apply the proper amount of pressure to pull it off. Eventually, Makhachev was able to take the back once again, but this time was able to sink in a rear-naked choke that forced the Brazilian to suffer his first submission defeat in his MMA career.


Makhachev vs Moisés
Photo Credit: Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After the bout, Makhachev called for a fight with another Brazilian in the form of former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. An interesting matchup stylistically and gives Makhachev an established name to possibly add to his resume as he climbs the ranks in hopes of one day finding himself in a title match.

Living up to the hype as a fighter is never easy as the pressure builds per show, more is put on you to put on a great performance, and every opponent knows a win against you will catapult them ahead. But none of this seemed to faze Makhachev, who seems to have the same level-headed and focus demeanor as his training partner turned coach, former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who has seemed to take being in the corner of his fighters on just like his fighting career. Another name to add to an always stacked division, those at 155lbs better be on the lookout for yet another Russian wave looking to demolish all in its path to the top of the mountain.


A five year gap between fights didn’t seem to both a former champion who made a triumphant return to action.


Makhachev vs Moisés
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Former women’s Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate ( 19-7 ) returned to the octagon after 1,709 days since her last fight. But the time away didn’t show much in her bout, as the former champion was able to show that motherhood and time away from action weren’t going to stop her from doing what she loves. Tate was able to be the first fighter to stop Marion Reneau ( 9-8 ) inside the UFC via third-round TKO from ground and pound. Getting her signature takedowns, applying pressure, and getting her first win since 2016 when she won the title at UFC 196, Tate has her name back in the division as she is now looking to see what’s next as she makes one more run at another title reign.

Going into this bout, Reneau had already made it known that this would be her final fight. While her record may not reflect a great career, she was well respected by everyone for always being a classic professional, always a tough outing, and always gave it her all. She took on former champions Tate, Holly Holm and had a victory over former champion Jessica Andrade. She also battled former title challengers in Bethe Correia, Sara McMann, Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya, and Raquel Pennington. So while she didn’t see her hand raised in her last five outings, clearly, she took on the best the division had to offer, and not one opponent could walk away saying it was an easy outing. The Brazilian is off to a new chapter in her life, and we thank her for her contributions to the sport and wish her well in her future adventures.


Another good fight card is in the books as the UFC continues to entertain fantastic fight cards one after the other. Whether we are watching champions, former champions, title contenders, or up and comers, the UFC will continue to give us entertaining fight cards to enjoy.



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