UFC Glendale Results: Muslim Salikhov Comes Alive In Second Round To Knock Out Ricky Rainey
At UFC Glendale, Wusha Sanda world champion Muslim Salikhov received another shot at UFC competition after losing his debut, and he took on Bellator welterweight and UFC newcomer Ricky Rainey. Rainey was scheduled for this fight to replace the injured Abdul Razak Alhassan, and entered with back to back wins in Bellator’s welterweight division. His opponent, the “King of Kung Fu”, came in after losing to Alex Garcia back in November in his UFC debut.
The fight began with both fighters circling each other and looking for openings, and the action was stopped a couple of minutes in when Rainey accidentally poked Salikhov’s eye. Salikhov tried to get the first takedown but couldn’t follow through because of the strength of his opponent. Rainey couldn’t finish his own shot that came not much later, with about two and a half minutes left in the round. There was a lack of striking combinations in the next minute, with only quick blows and kicks that weren’t followed up by either fighter.
The early second round was fought similarly to the first one, with neither fighter showing a lot of aggression. Rainey was the more active one, however, walking Salikhov down constantly. Despite Rainey being the one to push forward, however, Salikhov was the one to make the move of the fight. The silent crowd was suddenly excited when Rainey missed with a powerful punch and then left an opening for Salikhov to flatten him. The fight ended when Salikhov piled on more punches once Rainey was on the ground, to finish the knockout.
— UFC (@ufc) April 14, 2018
With this result, Salikhov’s record improves to 14-2 and 1-1 in the UFC, while Rainey’s UFC future will be in doubt after losing the debut that he took on short notice. According to Salikhov, nothing changed because of the switch in opponents, and he stated that his game plan would be the same regardless of who he was facing.