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The unbeaten Russian kept his perfect record intact and picked up a signature career win with a dominant TKO of veteran Thiago Tavares.
The lightweight bout opened the main card of Saturday’s UFC on FX 7 event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It aired on FX following prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook.
Nurmagomedov caused a stir with Brazilian fans at Friday’s weigh-ins when he wore a T-shirt trumpeting his fighting style over his opponent’s: “If sambo was easy, it would be called jiu-jitsu.” Unfortunately for Tavares, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had time to display little but his ability to survive a dozen late shots.
Nurmagomedov was aggressive as the fight opened and fearlessly closed the distance to throw punches quick combos. A little more than a minute into the fight, he then landed flush with a leaping uppercut that instantly dropped Tavares, who ate a couple dozen elbows before the bout was mercifully stopped.
The end came at the 1:55 mark of the opening round.