Nurmagomedov’s talent was no secret based on his success against opponents like Gleison Tibau and Thiago Tavares. However, until he crossed paths with Pat Healy he hadn’t faced an opponent with a legitimate claim to Top 10 status. Healy had won six straight fights entering the effort and also had a finish of Jim Miller under his belt before a failed drug test for marijuana use erased the result. Tack on past wins over opponents like Paul Daley, Dan Hardy and Carlos Condit, and it was clear Nurmagomedov would have his hands full in the fight. However, the undefeated Russian shined from start to finish and even delivered a powerful slam straight out of Matt Hughes’ playbook en route to a decision win.
Every time a Mixed Martial Artist enters the Octagon a learning experience is about to unfold. Not only do the involved individuals gain a certain level of knowledge based on the bout, but those watching the action exit the effort with a new understanding of what each fighter has to offer. UFC 165 was no different in that regard with plenty of information being dispatched, some of it eye-opening and some simply affirmation of already-established assertions. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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