Burrell vs. Agujev topped ACB 84

ACB 84 Delivers 12 World Class Fights – Highlights and Recaps from Slovakia

Bratislavia, Slovakia – Another weekend, another ACB fight card filled with top-notch action. ACB 84 saw 24 ranked competitors from 15 nations throw down, and though there weren’t as many finishes as most ACB cards there was still plenty for fans to cheer about. Check out the full fight videos via ACB’s YouTube channel, and read on for highlights and fight recaps from Slovakia!

 

ACB 84 Main Event:   Arbi Agujev (32-7)   UD3    Nah-shon Burrell (15-10), 170 lb

Main eventers Arbi Agujev and Nah-shon Burrell both pack a punch, and it was fair for fans to expect a slugfest in ACB 84’s marquee attraction. Instead, Agujev foreswore his usual power striking attack in favor of a measured grappling gameplan. UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator vet Burrell is incredibly hard to finish – just ask Albert Einstein Tumenov, Wonderboy Thompson, and Michael Venom Page – so Agujev’s positional control efforts may have been justified. But the KO puncher was tired by the time round 2 started. Luckily for Agujev, Burrell never picked up the pace, which gave the Austrian time to garner his energy and score timely takedowns at the end of rounds 2 and 3. The 30 year old “Monster” fell short of matching his highlight reel KO of Marcelo Alfaya last time out, but Agujev can be happy that he walked away with a comfortable decision over another recognizable welterweight name in his fifth straight ACB main event.

 

ACB 84 Co-Main Event:   Jae Young Kim (23-11-1)    KO1    Roland Cambal (11-6), 185 lb

The lone Slovakian representative on the card after ex-Bellator champ Attila Vegh pulled out, Roland Cambal received a once-in-a-lifetime ovation from his home crowd before fighting “MMA Panda” Jae Young Kim. Hopefully he remembers some of those cheers, because the middleweight found himself rocked by the deceptively athletic 5’8″ Korean early on before getting knocked out cold 100 seconds in. Cambal dropped to 0-2 in ACB, while former Top FC champion Kim advanced to 1-1 in ACB following a spirited decision loss to still-undefeated Baisangur Vakhitov in January.

ACB 84 Fight 10:   Leon Eskijew (15-3)    UD3    Luis Palomino (26-15), 145 lb

For a fighter ranked #67 in the Fightmatrix world rankings, Lom-Ali Eskijew entered has bout with grizzled warrior Luis Palomino with very little hype. The man who goes by “Leon” should have the MMA world’s attention now after dominating the two-time WSOF title challenger over the course of a grueling 15 minutes. Old school fans know that Palomino is as dangerous as anyone in a brawl, and a strong scrambler to boot. But the 26 year old Eskijew was persistent in the clinch and one step ahead of the Peruvian once the fight hit the mat. With his opponent worn down from a round of grappling, the German kept things on the feet for early portions of the second and third round, skillfully picking away at distance. But Eskijew clearly thrives on the mat, as he spent the final portion of each round dominating from top control. Chalk up a ninth straight win for Leon Eskijew, who isn’t the flashiest fighter but who continues to prove himself to be an effective all-around technician at world class level. He might be even better if he drops to 135, which seems a possibility at 5’7″ and with a fairly narrow frame.

 

ACB 84 Fight 9:   Adlan Bataev (10-1)    UD3    Saul Almeida (19-9), 145 lb

Former ACB title challenger Adlan Bataev wanted no part of Saul Almeida’s notorious BJJ game, as the wrestler opted to keep the fight on the feet and outpoint the CES and WSOF vet over 15 minutes. Almeida held the range advantage on the feet, as usual, but his jab had neither the pop nor the accuracy to keep Bataev at bay. Bataev dove in for takedowns near the cage at the end of rounds, but otherwise this was a simple kickboxing match between grapplers. This was a breezy and uneventful decision win for Bataev, who has only competed for ACB during his sucessful 11 fight pro career.

ACB 84 Fight 8:   Joshua Aveles (27-11-2)    UD3    Adrian Zielinski (17-8), 155 lb

California lightweight Joshua Aveles is one of 2018’s best examples of a fighter who started on a journeyman path before mastering his craft and becoming a world class competitor. Aveles faced a similarly technical opponent in Poland’s Adrian Zielenski and put on a masterclass in striking tactics and technique en route to a unanimous decision win. Aveles bobbed and weaved expertly within the pocket, and he showed off a great knack for finding opportunistic body strikes and head shots when available. The American nearly found the finish late in round 2 when he cracked Zielinski with a gnarly head kick, but the Pole gamely fought on and even managed to turn up the pace in round 3. But this was Aveles’ fight, as he switched to a steady diet of jabs in the third frame. Both men swung wildly at the end of the fight as the Slovakan crowd showed their appreciation for the two bloody warriors. With the decision win, Aveles is now 3-0 in ACB with wins over Zielinski, Amirkhan Adaev, and respected UFC vet Leandro “Buscape” Silva; the Millenia MMA trainee should enjoy a crack at another one of ACB’s elite lightweights next time out, and he finds himself remarkably close to a huge title fight in Russia at age 29.

ACB 84 Fight 7:   Jose Daniel Toledo (7-5)    TKO1-Knees    Stipe Bekavac (19-9), 205 lb

Sure, there are more technical and talented light heavyweights in the sport, but in a straight-up toughman contest it’s hard to beat Jose Daniel Toledo. Toledo took a few good shots from Croatian Stipe Bekavac early, but the Spaniard ate them in stride and kept coming forward to force the brawl. Once the powerful Toledo found the mark with knees to the body midway through the round, the Croatian crumpled to the mat and it wasn’t long before the fight was waved off. Nice win for the steadily-improving Spaniard, who is now 2-1 in ACB with the lone setback coming to UFC vet Thiago Silva in an exciting brawl back at ACB 74.

ACB 84 Fight 6:   Yusup Umarov (11-4)    TKO1    Darren Smith, Jr. (14-9)

“Don’t throw single leg kicks” – Bas Rutten

ACB 84 Fight 5:   Rany Saadeh (10-2)    Sub1-Heel Hook    Trent Girdham (8-1), 135 lb

The premiere prospect battle on this ACB 84 card proved to be a wipeout, as former BAMMA flyweight champ Rany Saadeh took 20 year old Australian Trent Girdham into his world on the mat and finished him within half of a round. Girdham is quite athletic, and he managed to scramble to top control twice in the abbreviated contest, but his BJJ reactions weren’t automatic enough to defend against Saadeh’s persistent, tricky attacks. The heel hook finished sealed Saadeh’s first ACB win in his first career contest at bantamweight.

ACB 84 Fight 4:   Islam Siszbulatow (9-4) TKO-1 Luis Nogueira (21-8-1), 145 lb

This contest was 99 seconds of pure dynamite. Both men came out swinging recklessly, with Nogueira landing first but Siszbulatow landing hardest. Once Nogueira tasted the canvas for the first time he came back swinging even more wildly than before, and after a minute of rock-em-sock-em action the Austrian connected with a bomb that led to the conclusive KO finish.

ACB 84 Fight 3:   Maciej Rozanski (10-2) Sub2-Armbar Dan Hope (14-9)

If Britain’s Dan Hope had his way, he would have taken this bout to the mat. Unfortunately for Hope, Maciej Rozanski had no problem stopping Hope’s telegraphed takedowns and dominating the fight from at any range he chose. Rozanski elected to take mount midway through round two, before switching to back mount and finally taking home Hope’s arm with just 4 seconds left in the frame. The Pole is now 2-1 in ACB competition with a pair of submission finishes.

ACB 84 Fight 2:   Arbi Mezhidov (11-3) UD-3 Jose Zarauz (16-4-1), 145 lb

Peruvian prospect Jose Zarauz displayed his athletic talents in short bursts against Mezhidov. But the Russian took advantage of several fundamental gaffes from Zarauz, like losing position with 45 seconds left in round one for a weak guillotine guard pull. After a positionally dominant round two, Mezhidov smoked the Peruvian with a punch at the start of the third. Zarauz recovered in time to throw up an armbar attempt that slowed the Russian’s progress, and even swept to top for a few moments, but Mezhidov ended the fight in control en route to his second unanimous decision win in two ACB outings.

 

ACB 84 Fight 1:   Umar Yankosvskiy (12-1) UD-3 Ben Egli (10-2), 170 lb

Ben Egli used strong grappling during his King of the Cage title reign, but he never came close to forcing Kazak’s Umar Yankovskiy down to the mat. Instead, the two men exchanged strikes in a traditional Muay Thai contest that was more plodding than dynamic. The southpaw Yankovskiy had no problem stepping to the outside of Egli and blasting him with straight lefts for 15 one-sided minutes. At the end of the fight Egli looked like an extra from a zombie film, while the 29 year old Yankovskiy was as fresh as a daisy. This was the Kazakhstani’s first bout at 170 after opening his career at 185, and he took the clean sweep decision to move to 1-1 in ACB.

 

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