ABU DHABI – Shara Magomedov beat Bruno Silva with a unanimous decision Saturday to open up the preliminary card at UFC 294 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Take a look inside the fight with Magomedov, a highly touted middleweight who won his UFC debut.
Shara Magomedov vs. Bruno Silva
Result: Shara Magomedov def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 30-27)
Updated records: Magomedov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Silva (23-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC)
Key stats: Although Silva had three takedowns and nearly seven minutes of control time, Magomedov landed 222 of 274 strikes for a whopping 81 percent clip.
Magomedov on the fight's key moment
“There were moments where I thought that I would have finished him. I wanted to finish the fight, and there were some things that I wanted to capitalize on. But when he took me down, I actually did not want to get up. I wanted to put as much damage on him from the bottom as I could.
“Some people were talking about that maybe my wrestling wasn’t strong enough, or maybe he was going to hold me down the entire fight and won’t let me work. It was actually my goal to put as much damage on him from the bottom as possible and to actually knock him out from the bottom with my work. Unfortunately, I don’t know how he withstood it. He’s got some crazy head that I was trying to beat in and his head withstood all of that punishment.”
Magomedov on his supposed lack of wrestling defense
“People think that they’re going to take me down and that’s it – that’s the end of the fight, and they’re just going to lay on me and that’s how the fight’s going to end. But that’s not what’s going to happen. I’m going to put as much damage as possible from the bottom. I’m going to have just as hard punches and just as many attacks from the bottom as I am standing up. So don’t think that just laying on me is going to save you.”
Magomedov on what he wants next
“For a year, I’ve been waiting for my (UFC) debut. Now I’m here and I want to stay as active as possible. I want to fight as much as possible. My fans know that. My fans know that I usually stay active, so the goal would be to just recover a little bit, rest, and then I would love to fight in Shanghai beginning of December. I already spoke to Dana White about it. I told Dana White to give me the opportunity to fight in Shanghai. And Dana White said, ‘Sure, let’s go.’
“Let’s put the foot to the gas. I miss Shanghai. I lived in Shanghai for a long time. I’m 10-0 in Shanghai. I never lost a fight in Shanghai. I have lots of fans in Shanghai. I would love to go out there to China and show a great fight. Dana White says it’s going to work, so I’ll see you in Shanghai.”
To hear more from Magomedov, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.