The strongest league in the world opened the new calendar year with the UFC Fight Night 217 tournament, in the main event of which American fighter Sean Strickland returned his career to a successful track in the confrontation with a native of Dagestan, Nassurdin Imavov, representing France.
Following the results of five rounds of the fight, which took place in the rack, the judges by unanimous decision with a score of 48-47 and 49-46 twice gave the victory to Strickland, who accepted the fight on short notice. By agreeing to replace the injured Kelvin Gastelum, Strickland not only took the win, but also made history for the organization as the first fighter to headline two events in a row.
In the co-main event of the tournament, American featherweight Dan Ige closed a series of three defeats by knocking out his compatriot Damon Jackson in the second round.
The third most important event of the show was the fight between Roman Kopylov and Punahili Soriano, in which the Russian middleweight won by technical knockout in the second round. In a post-match interview, Kopylov, who is fighting the last fight under his current contract with the UFC, expressed the hope that the organization would extend the agreement with him.
The second Russian participant of the event, the fighter of the lightest division, Umar Nurmagomedov, who knocked out the Brazilian Raoni Barcelos in the first round, also scored an early victory. After the fight, the Russians announced that he was ready to return to the octagon on March 4 at UFC 285 in Las Vegas.
Also, early victories were won by Abdul Razak Alhassan, Allan Nascimento and Charles Johnson.
All results of the UFC Fight Night 217 tournament.