Bekbulat Magomedov was brought in by RUFF to test undefeated 145-pound champion Wang Guan. It was an examination that the Chinese fighter failed, putting in a lackluster performance en route to a clear-cut decision loss.
Guan’s striking credentials are impeccable and he is well known in Sanda circles, but perhaps wary of the takedowns from his Sambo based opponent, he was extremely tentative, barely throwing a single shot in the opening exchanges.
After half a round of inactivity in the main event of RUFF 11 and with the crowd growing increasingly restless, Magomedov secured a takedown and moved immediately into mount. Guan escaped and reversed the position, but he had to defend an armbar attempt followed by a triangle and spent the remainder of the round on his back pressed up against the cage.
The Chinese fighter must have known he was behind on the scorecards, but continued to be tentative with his striking at the start of the second round, and after failing to mount any effective offense whatsoever in the striking exchanges, was once again taken down.
This time Guan did a good job of keeping Magomedov in his guard and landing some elbows from the bottom before working his way back to his feet where he stuffed another takedown, but slipped backwards when attempting a knee and ended up on his back yet again.
Magomedov was firmly in control going into the third frame and Guan finally started to score with strikes, landing a couple of hard low kicks. The Russian failed in a takedown attempt and then tried to score with some standing strikes of his own for the first time in the fight, driving the Chinese fighter back with a flurry of punches.
Guan was never troubled, but no sooner had he started to press forward than he was taken down. The Ruff 145-pound champion, whose belt was not on the line, sprang to his feet and attempted a spinning back elbow in the final seconds of the round, but it was too little too late.
In an uneventful fight, Magomedov’s takedowns and the two submission attempts in the opening round had clearly made the difference and the Russian was awarded a decision victory that improves his record to 12-0, while Guan drops to 12-1-1.
Magomedov had initially been slated to face Will Chope at UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore, but instead fulfilled his RUFF contract by fighting Guan. Chope is now slated to face Max Holloway. Having only signed up with RUFF on a one-fight deal, there is a high possibility we will see Magomedov inside the Octagon in 2014.
In the co-main event, Rijirigala Amu exacted revenge on Meixuan Zhang, who submitted him in the opening round at RUFF 6 last year en route to winning the inaugural 125-pound belt. In this non-title match, the roles were reversed with the China Top Team fighter forcing the champion to tap out in the second round.
Amu wanted to get the fight to the ground. In the second stanza, he got a takedown and immediately rolled for an armbar, which, after initial resistance, the champion eventually succumbed to. Zhang drops to 6-2, but retains his belt because this was a non-title bout, while his opponent improves to 8-2.
The other RUFF champion in action at the Hongkou Indoor Stadium in Shanghai was 155-pound titleholder Rodrigo Caporal. The doctor ruled Iftikhor Arbobov unable to continue at the end of the opening round and the Brazilian champion improves to 11-4 with his seventh straight win, while his Russian opponent drops to 10-2.
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