Zhenhong Lu triumphed in the co-main event at MFP220 (pic: Kunlun Fight)

MFP 220/Kunlun MMA World Tour: 21 y/o Arman Tsarukyan Dominates UFC Vet Junior Assuncao, Zhenhong Lu Brutalizes Ryazanov

Khabarovsk, Russia – This past weekend the leading regional promotion in eastern Russia, MFP, collaborated with top Chinese kickboxing promotion Kunlun Fights to present a joint MFP 220/Kunlun MMA event. Several strong prospects were in action, including Armenian lightweight Arman Tsarukyan and top Russian womens’ bantamweight talent Aygul Khabirova. Plus a number of familiar names took the cage like UFC veterans Junior Assuncao & Lipeng Zheng and WEC vet Muhsin Corbbrey.

Read on for recaps of all the bouts, and check out the full event replay (including a handful of minor technical glitches) for a very reasonable $6 at Fite.tv.

MFP 220 Main Event @ 155: For his first career bout in Russia, two-time UFC veteran Junior Assuncao (16-7, 1-1 UFC, was #62 World 2 yrs inactive) stepped up on short notice to replace Cody Pfister against 21 year old striking ace Arman Tsarukyan (12-1, #120 World). The kid nearly finished things in the opening moments with a perfectly placed spinning back kick to the liver. Assuncao hit the deck, but survived and managed to make things close later in the round. The Brazilian even ended with a flurry from mount after reversing an off-balance Tsarukyan takedown try. After no doubt winning the first round, the Armenian worked the bout back down to the mat early in round 2 and controlled position while Assuncao could do little but defend and survive. Round 3 was more of the same as Tsarukyan closed the deal with another five minutes of positional control. With this main event victory, Tsarukyan defended his MFP title and added Assuncao’s name to a resume that already includes a decision over another UFC vet Takanori Sato. Not bad for a fighter who hit US drinking age just a few months back.

MFP 220 Co-Main @135: Following a round of close kickboxing action, Zhenhong Lu (16-5, #205 World) spilled an ungodly amount of blood in round 2 after he forced Evgeniy Ryazanov (18-13, #45 Russia) to the mat. Lu smashed away with hammerfists to the skull before landing an elbow to Ryazanov’s upper orbital that opened up a faucet of plasma. As wide swaths of the mat turned bright red, the referee decided he has seen enough and called off the fight via TKO-Cut. The finish was no fluke, though, as Zhenhong Lu appeared to be well on his way to a finish – blood or no.

170: Some fighters see a brief stint in the UFC as a career-topping event. Others like Lipeng Zhang (27-11-1, 2-2 UFC, #179 World) take their Octagon experience and build an even more successful and busy career. In his first 20 post-UFC bouts Zhang recorded an incredibly 19 victories. Unfortunately for Zhang, Russia’s Elnur Agaev (14-8, #297 World) had all the answers necessary to stifle the wrestling game of “The Warrior” and reverse to top position. This one graded out as more of a grappling struggle than a display of violence. But Agaev did just what he needed to do to upset China’s top welterweight via split decision – looked like a pretty easy call in favor of Agaev from my comfy chair, despite the dissenting scorecard.

Zhang vs Agaev from MFP220 (via Kunlun Fight)

W135: China’s Zhenyao Wang (0-2) flashed aggressive striking at the start of this bout, but as soon as she fell into 23 year old Aygul Khabirova‘s (5-0, #34 World) clutches Huang found herself judo tossed to the mat. Khabirova worked to side control and then rained down moderate ground and pound from crucifix and mount positions to earn the dominant first round TKO. The Russian prospect looked rock solid in this one against an overmatched opponent, and she already holds past triumphs over three-fight pro winners Karina Vasilenko and Natalya Safronova.

145: MFP and Chinese reginoals regular Boris Fedorov (8-1, #589 World) spent round 1 stalking much smaller opponent Tuerxun Jumabieke (20-6-1, 0-3 UFC, #382 World) and whacking the UFC veteran with low kicks, body punches, and right hands late in the stanza. Fedorov, who received a yellow card for missing weight, kept his pace steady through rounds 2 and 3 as he never found himself threatened by Tuerxun’s power. After three mostly patient frames, the Yakutsk native Fedorov walked away with the clear decision in his biggest bout yet.

145: After 7 minutes of close, low-impact sparring, Musu Nuertiebieke (13-3) staggered Viktor Danilin (4-4, all 8 fights in MFP). For the remainder of the fight, Musu controlled top position and smashed away with ground strikes en route to a clear unanimous decision victory over the local regular.

155: Once upon a time 40 year old Muhsin Corbbrey (14-10, 0-2 WEC) threw down with the likes of Kurt Pellegrino, Jim Miller, and Nick Diaz. Far removed from those days, the vet had a singular game plan in this bout versus China’s Balajin (5-1) – work for the submission from guard. Balajin showed solid defensive skills as he fended off leglock, armbar, and persistent guillotine efforts. Corbbrey just couldn’t stop Balajin’s power takedowns, and the American ended up eating a steady diet of ground strikes to the jaw until the final bell. This was a lopsided unanimous decision for the wrestler Balajin, who has now taken out a pair of vets in Corbbrey and Krazy Horse Bennett early in his pro MMA career.

205: Sergey Pogodaev (5-1) started strong with a knee to the face before finding himself sucked down to the mat by Zhang Mingyang (2-4) for much of round 1. Both men held the back briefly with Pogodaev controlling the later stages. In round 2, Mingyang appeared to bite clear through his cheap mouthguard and earned a yellow card/25% purse deduction for spiking it to the ground in disgust. It wasn’t long before Pogodaev took advantage of his fading foe with a big right hand that sent Zhang crumpling to the mat for the round 2 TKO.

145: Oktyabrin Yakovlev (1-2) enjoyed scome early striking success that stunned Yewen (1-0), but once the fight reached the mat the Chinese fighter utterly dominated en route to an academic Mata Leon (RNC) submission with 16 seconds left in round 1.

170: Two-time KSW competitor Mateusz Piskorz (13-4, #579 World) had no trouble with Kurbanjiang Tuluorsibake (14-9, #229 World) as he took Kurbanjian to the mat and smashed him with left hand punches en route to the very quick first round stoppage. Either Piskorz rendered his foe completely unconscious on the mat, or Kurbanjiang did a Muay Thai-caliber sell job of the ground-and-pound finish.

135: Canadian Denis Puric (6-6) used crackling hooks to win round one of his card-opening clash versus Aleksey Indenko (3-1). Round two was close, then in the third Indenko claimed the unanimous decision win with dominant top control.

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