Filipino-Australian Josh ‘Kuya’ Culibao put up an impressive performance in the undercard of the stacked UFC 284 fight card with a second-round submission victory over Melsik Baghdasaryan at the RAC Arena in Western Australia.
The 28-year-old Culibao displayed grit and heart after he rallied after an ugly low blow from Baghdasaryan in the first round.
Baghdasaryan was warned in the first round after some dirty tactics including a spinning kick to the groin of Culibao. Despite this, Culibao remained calm and composed as he landed a picture-perfect jab that dropped his foe.
Smelling blood, Culibao immediately jumped at Baghdasaryan and sank a deep rear naked choke that forced the American to tap.
This is Culibao’s third straight win in the UFC after losing his debut last 2020.
In the main event of the blockbuster MMA card, Russian champion Islam Makhachev survived a grueling five-round scrap against fellow UFC star Alexander Volkanovski.
Makhachev retained his UFC lightweight title via a close unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46).
Volkanovski, who holds the featherweight belt, surprised everyone as he proved that size doesn’t matter after going toe-to-toe against Makhachev.
Makhachev, who described Volkanovksi as one of the toughest challenges he had so far, prevailed as he relied more on his wrestling to hold the Australian down. – Lemuel P. Maglinte