By: Simon Head |
November 9, 2019 3:36 pm
Martin (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) took on Emeev (18-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a welterweight bout as part of the UFC on ESPN+ 21 main card at CSKA Arena in Moscow. The event streamed on ESPN+, and after three hard-fought rounds, it was an emotional Martin whose hand was raised following a strong performance on enemy territory earned him a unanimous decision victory.
The bout started with a clearly fired-up Martin pushing forward in aggressive fashion, while Emeev remained cool and calm as he took the center of the octagon. But while the Russian appeared the less emotional of the two, his composure was soon disturbed by a thumping low calf kick from the American, who found his mark with that technique with relentless efficiency throughout the fight.
An overhand right from Martin briefly caused Emeev to stumble and, with “Rocco” waving on Emeev. The Russian dived in for a single leg takedown, only to find himself caught in a kimura. Impressively, Emeev held on gamely before escaping the hold as the Moscow crowd let out a huge cheer for their local hero.
The second round started out much like the first, with an aggressive Martin trash-talking Emeev before returning to his tactic of scoring with low calf kicks, which were clearly having the desired effect. With Martin consistently beating Emeev to the punch, the 32-year-old instead opted for another takedown attempt. But, once again, Martin was ready for him as he locked up first a guillotine choke, then a modified rear-naked choke.
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Emeev coolly escaped both predicaments and returned to his feet, but was left frustrated at his inability to mount any serious offense on the mat, and that frustration led Emeev to complain to referee Marc Goddard mid-round, as he appeared to suggest that Martin’s shoulders were greasy. But the official shut down the complaints and demanded the fight continue.
While his pace settled down a little in the final round, Martin maintained control of much of the action as he effectively counter-struck from the outside, both with punches and calf kicks, as he punished Emeev whenever he tried to close the distance. And as the final seconds counted down, “Rocco” spread his arms wide and let out a primal roar as the fight went the distance.
And, after the judges rendered scores of 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 to give him his 17th career win, Martin dedicated his victory to his mother, who he revealed recently received news that she has Stage 4 breast cancer.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 21 results include:
- Anthony Rocco Martin def. Ramazan Emeev via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Shamil Gamzatov def. Klidson Abreu via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Magomed Ankalaev def. Dalcha Lungiambula via knockout (kick and punches) – Round 3, 0:29
- Rustam Khabilov def. Sergey Khandozhko via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Karl Roberson def. Roman Kopylov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:01
- David Zawada def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:50
- Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexander Yakovlev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Davey Grant def. Grigorii Popov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
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