Siyar Bahadurzada was on a seven-fight winning streak and looking to make Dong Hyun Kim his eighth consecutive victim when the two squared off at UFC on Fuel TV 8: Silva vs. Stann on Saturday night in Japan.
Things couldn’t have gone hardly any different than what Bahadurzada had hoped for.
While the opening minutes of the fight saw both men feinting heavily, trying to get a read on each other, it was Kim that cracked the code midway through the opening round and didn’t look back.
Kim took Bahadurzada to the mat and did what he does best; he smothered him, mixing in just enough ground and pound and elbows to keep the fight on the mat.
Rounds two and three played out much the same way, Kim taking Bahadurzada to the canvas at will. One thing that did change was the intensity of Kim’s ground and pound attack.
Though he was never close to putting the Afghan fighter away with his punches and elbows, Kim came close with a head-and-arm choke in the third round. Bahadurzada defended well. Kim was unable to make the necessary adjustments to finish the choke, but he used his position to drive home several knees to Bahadurzada’s body, leaving no doubts for the judges, who scored it unanimously in Kim’s favor.
The victory puts momentum back in Kim’s favor.
Having won five of his first six bouts in the Octagon – the sixth was a no contest – Kim was 2-2 in his last four bouts prior to this fight. The victory gives him back-to-back victories and starts him back on the road to title talk.