In the main event of UFC 223, Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated Al Iaquinta to earn a unanimous decision win and become the new UFC lightweight champion. Judges scored the fight 50-44, 50-43, and 50-43, meaning Nurmagomedov earned two 10-8 rounds on two of the judges' scorecards.
Iaquinta was inserted into the main event on Friday after Max Holloway was deemed medically unfit to attemtp to compete. Iaquinta deserves credit for lasting all five rounds with a fighter like Nurmagomedov. "The Eagle" had early success getting the fight to the ground and mauling "Raging Al," but Iaquinta found ways to survive. Nurmagomedov dominated the first two rounds, but Iaquinta was able to land some shots as the fight went on. But Nurmagomedov was never really in any danger and came close with a couple submission attempts that Iaquinta was lucky to survive. Nurmagomedov is now unbeaten in 26 fights.
In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas defended her strawweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a unanimous decision win in a rematch from November. Namjunas won the first two rounds while Jedrzejczyk took control in the third and fourth rounds. Namajunas dug deep in the fifth round to pull off the win. The loss most likely means Jedrzejczyk will move up to the flyweight division where she will likely get an automatic title shot when she's ready. For Namajunas, it's her third straight win and sixth in her past seven fights.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43, 50-43)
- Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
- Renato Moicano def. Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (corner stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Evan Dunham via TKO (strikes) at 0:53 of Round 1
- Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Devin Clark def. Michael Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)