In fact, Dean didn’t really stop the fight at all. Dollaway (17-9 MMA, 11-9 UFC) did by telling Dean he couldn’t continue after two rounds. But that decision from Dollaway came only a few seconds after Murtazaliev (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) appeared to be brutally beating away – only to have Dean let their middleweight fight continue until the horn at the end of the second round.
The UFC Fight Night 136 announcers at the card at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass, were plenty vocal from cageside during the broadcast wondering why Dean wasn’t shutting things down. Twitter was abuzz afterward, too.
Murtazaliev gave Dean a little bit of a break afterward, but also wondered why the fight wasn’t stopped.
“I actually think it’s the referee’s habit to handle it that way,” Murtazaliev said through a translator. “But I was pretty tired, as well, so my punches were slow. I was surprised, myself, that he didn’t stop it (sooner).”
Murtazaliev was making his UFC debut on only a week’s notice against Dollaway, a longtime UFC veteran. He was Dollaway’s third opponent for UFC Moscow. In fact, Dollaway landed in Germany on a layover from the States on the way to Moscow to find out that he had a new opponent. When he left the States, UFC matchmakers apparently still were looking for someone to fight him.
Murtazaliev made the most of his short-notice opportunity.
“I feel really good, but I’m a bit tired since I didn’t have that much time for prepation,” Murtazaliev said. “It was only a week, and the weight cut went really fast, as well. But thank God I’m here and I made it. … C.B. Dollaway is a veteran,” Murtazaliev said. “He’s been top-ranked and he’s a great fighter. I was trying to get myself in really good shape (for the fight in a short amount of time).”
Murtazaliev said he’ll be ready to build on his momentum by getting back to work late this year or early in 2019.
Check out the full post-fight interview with Murtazaliev in the video above.
- UFC Moscow: Shamil Abdurakhimov laments not finishing Andrei Arlovski
- UFC Moscow: Mairbek Taisumov wants Kevin Lee, but says without visa, he may retire
- UFC Moscow: After head-kick KO, Magomed Ankalaev not interested in Paul Craig rematch
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC Moscow: Khalid Murtazaliev surprised – and not – at Herb Dean's non-stoppage