Khabilov went the distance, earning a unanimous decision in the judges’ eyes with scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Khabilov scored first with a big overhand right to Masvidal’s head. He continued landing strikes with various combinations, while Masvidal calculated and timed his blows. Masvidal then landed two flying knees to the body before clinching into the end of the round.
Khabilov continued looking to land a right hand as the second round began. Masvidal landed a significant left hand to the body near the halfway point of the round, but Khabilov later came back with a strong punch combination that backed Masvidal against the fence. The round came to a close shortly after Khabilov held a body clinch that was broken up by his opposition.
The most significant strike of the fight came in the third round, when Khabilov landed a spinning heel kick to the head that dropped Masvidal to the floor. Khabilov pursued to the ground, but Masvidal recovered, and the two then traded advantageous positions in ground scrambles. Time expired after Khabilov scored a trip takedown and Masvidal worked his way back to the feet.
With the win, Khabilov improves his record to 17-1. Masvidal drops to 2-2 in the UFC, 25-8 overall.
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