Video and photo of the fight
Next destination – São Paulo, Brazil. Another Brazilian and the most promising fighter of the country with a streak of two wins – against Spencer Fisher and Sam Stout.
Already at the weigh-ins, the young and hot tempered Eagle fuelled the interest in the bout by showing up wearing a provocative T-shirt that read: “If sambo was easy, it would be called jiu jitsu”.
The local crowd was anxious for the blood, and Thiago seemed very motivated.
The course of combat:
As he was stepping into the Octagon the agitated crowd was screaming "Uh, vai morrer!” which means “You will die!”
As Bruce Buffer was announcing the fighters, Thiago Tavares was boring a hole in Khabib trying to intimidate him. But Khabib answered with a smile. He knew that millions of Russians were watching him that night hoping that the words written on his T-shirt would be proved with actions.
On the day of the fight, the UFC administration gave me six security guards. They said I had overdone my show at the weigh-ins and they were afraid for my safety.
Referee Dan Miragliotta signalls the start.
The fight begins with the fighters feeling each other out at a distance. From a straddling low stance Thiago Tavares attempts to cut the distance and start an attack, but Khabib's confident bounce step leaves him no chance to develop any actions.
Khabib demonstrates back work against the cage, inviting the opponent to act decisively. Late in the first minute, it seems that Thiago has taken the bate. He approaches for an attack, but has to bounce back straight away from Khabib’s counter-attacks: left uppercut and right hook almost reach the Brazilian's head!
The athletes are again in the center at a safe distance. Khabib tries to reach the opponent with an uppercut, but Tavares escapes the shot. You can see that Tavares did not see it coming. The fighter's stance demonstrates how hard he has been working with his coaching team on his takedown defence, standing and wrestling. 3.19 of the first round. The Brazilian lets his guard down allowing Khabib to drive a flying uppercut straight to his jaw! The local audience, that has been demanding blood, goes quiet at once. Dead silence. And then a sound of the Brazilian falling on the canvas. With a swift move, the hungry Eagle rushes in and literally starts elbowing Thiago’s head into the canvas.
The referee has to interfere and stop the fight. Triumphant Khabib stands up and runs to his corner, jumps up the cage and calls for applause.
This fight Khabib's hands should not be underestimated. He is a truly versatile fighter with a good heavy punch!