LAS VEGAS – Abdul Razak Alhassan tried to mix things up early with some wrestling, but ultimately, his crushing power led to another early finish.
Alhassan (12-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) took on the debuting Claudio Ribeiro on the prelims of UFC Fight Night 217 in a middleweight bout that promised to produce a violent finish. The bout took place at the UFC Apex and aired on ESPN+.
Ribeiro (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) focused on attacking the legs of Alhassan early with hard calf kicks. Alhassan ate a few of them before shooting in for a takedown, leading to a clinch against the cage. After breaking free, Ribeiro went back to the leg kicks and added a crisp right hand straight down the pipe to pop Alhassan’s head back. Another clinch initiated by Alhassan slowed the action, but he was able to sneak in some powerful short strikes before the horn.
Those closing shots set the tone for what would come early in the second.
Ribeiro tried to continue his attacks to the legs, but this time, Alhassan connected with some big punches. Ribeiro was stunned, and Alhassan poured on the pressure to score the knockout from crushing right hands.
Watch video of the finish below (via Twitter):
Even with adding new wrinkles to his game, Alhassan will always have fight-ending power, and put that on full display in the second round against Ribeiro.
After a split decision loss to Joaquin Buckley last February, Alhassan returned to the win column in emphatic fashion. Prior to that setback, he took out Alessio Di Chirico in just 17 seconds with a devastating head kick.
Unfortunately for Ribeiro, his UFC debut did not go as planned as he walks away with the third loss of his pro career. The Dana White’s Contender Series alum earned a contract by knocking out Ivan Valenzuela in just 25 seconds.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 217.