Showcasing his dominant wrestling and ground game, Nurmagomedov just overwhelmed Maness in the grappling exchanges during each minute of every round. When the fight was over, the judges scored the fight 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27 with Nurmagomedov winning a unanimous decision while moving to 15-0 in his career.
“He’s a tough guy but I’m happy I win,” Nurmagomedov said. “I think next or after next [fight], I’m going to be in the top 10. After we will see. I am ready. Even if they say tomorrow I’m going to fight for the belt, I’m ready.”
An early slip from Maness put him in a bad position with Nurmagomedov on top of him with the Russian putting constant pressure from the top while looking to advance his position. Nurmagomedov also peppered away with punches on the inside and then dropped elbows whenever Maness gave him room to work.
As the second round began, Nurmagomedov initiated the takedown as he swooped low, grabbed a leg, and planted Maness on the canvas. From there, Nurmagomedov was methodical as he shredded Maness’ defense and continued to punish him with a variety of ground-and-pound techiques.
Maness was just buried under Nurmagomedov, who was relentless with his suffocating control on the ground. Every time Maness attempted to scramble free, Nurmagomedov made him pay by exerting his dominance even more with an overwhelming wrestling attack.
Another takedown followed in the third round, where Nurmagomedov really started to work for a finish as he bludgeoned Maness with punches and elbows with at least one shot opening a cut over the eye. As time expired, Nurmagomedov was still chipping away with Maness just holding on to survive until the horn sounded.
With soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner, Umar made his family proud with his win on Saturday and there’s little doubt he’ll be stalking ranked opponents sooner rather than later.