Tyson Nam Crushes Ali Bagautinov at the Bell in his FNG 64 Return (with highlights)

Check out fight recaps and video clips from Fight Nights Global 64, featuring Ali Bagautinov’s return to the Russian MMA ranks versus Tyson Nam and an international heavyweight battle pitting Alexei Kudin of Belarus against WSOF veteran Derrick Mehmen. Scroll down for a review of the top fights from the card plus videos highlighting the best action from this thoroughly entertaining FNG 64 card; and browse over to the Fight Nights YouTube page to view all the bouts in their entirety after the show’s conclusion.

Ali Bagautinov (15-6) vs. Tyson Nam (14-8-1), 125 lbs

Bagautinov vs Nam

Bagautinov vs Nam

This highly anticipated main event matchup featured the return of former world flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov to Russian soil following a seven-fight UFC run that included wins over John Lineker, Geane Herrera, and Tim Elliott along with setbacks against the top 3 flyweights in the world Kyoji Horiguchi, Joseph Benavidez, and Mighty Mouse Johnson. Meanwhile Hawaii’s Nam earned the attenotion of the MMA community when he defeated Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas at a Shooto Brazil event back in 2012, and following a four fight losing streak Nam has recently regained his form with a pair of victories plus a draw against TUF 24 quarterfinalist Yoni Sherbatov last time out.

The 31 year old Russian looked sharp as ever early, flicking out straight punches and leg kicks as Nam skittered evasively. The Hawaiian had very few answers early for Bagautinov’s quickness, and the Russian seemed content to land with volume until a huge right uppercut sent Nam staggering backward with about 90 seconds to go in the frame. Bagautinov went hard for the finish with a spinning back kick, a flying knee, and follow up punches but once he recognized that Nam had recovered both men returned to a measured kickboxing match for the rest of the round.

Ali continued his domination on the feet for the first half of the second round, keeping Nam off of him with snappy kicks and tossing out counters as Nam moved forward. While Nam did a fine job of hanging in there this was all Bagautinov once again, as Nam simply lacked the speed or reaction time necessary to make headway against the tricky Russian. Ali B. takes the second round on both striking volume and power.

Nam needed to make something big happen as he was almost certainly down 20-18 on the judges’ cards heading into the third and final frame. Bagautinov seemed certain that the fight was in the bag, as he spent the first half of the round dancing about the cage and styming Nam’s opportunities for offense entirely. With two minutes to go Ali started to open up a bit, landing a solid over hand right before returning to his defensive shell.  And then literally with seconds left, just when the Russian seemed to have things completely in the bag, Nam threw a scintillating right high kick – one of his first of the entire fight – that caught the top contender on the neck and sent him careening to the canvas unconscious. What an absolutely stunning finish to the bout from Tyson Nam, who once again has proven that he has the capabilities to defeat and opponent on any given not.  On the other side of the coin this was just a crushing loss for Bagautinov in his post-UFC return to action.  Serious kudos to Nam for not giving up in a fight that seemed out of reach, and here’s betting we get to see these two run it back inside the FNG cage in the near future.

Derrick Mehmen (19-8) vs Alexei Kudin (21-10-1), 265 lbs

After plying his trade in top US promotions Strikeforce and WSOF, including two failed WSOF heavyweight title shots against Smealinho Rama and Blagoi Ivanov, Derrick “Caveman” Mehmen made his Russian debut in this FNG 64 co-main event opposite Belarussian #2 heavyweight Alexei Kudin. Both men are coming off losses to quality opponents, as Kudin dropped a decision to world #1 heavyweight prospect Sergey Pavlovich at FNG 54 while Mehmen fell by decision to DJ Linderman at Titan FC 40 last August.

Mehmen looked to avoid Kudin’s power early, as the American grabbed the clinch and worked for a takedown against the fence in the early moments of the bout. When the action returned to the middle two minutes in Kudin started to go to work with stinging jabs and leg kicks. The Belarussian seemed to be settling in when Mehmen clipped him with a solid punch that had Kudin briefly punch drunk near the end of the round; this was a very close frame that easily could go to either man, though aside from the one power punch Kudin was mostly in control of the standup.

In round two Kudin continued his fundamentally sound assault, as he peppered “Caveman” with straight punches and step-in hooks while Mehmen circled away and tried to replicate the huge overhand right that he landed in the first. Kudin’s takedown defense was rock-solid here, as the American would have been happy to take this fight to the mat but was unable to budge the Belarussian’s base. As Mehman became more labored Kudin started to time his approaches, with a particularly nice counter right hook briefly staggering Mehman near the end of the frame.

Both men’s cardio looked decent for the 265 pound ranks as the third frame started, and Mehmen didn’t take long to get inside with winging hooks and shoot for another takedown. Yet Kudin was up for the challenge, sprawling his way into a front headlock and working moderate GNP while keep his foe pressed face down on the mat for about a minute. After another failed takedown from Mehmen the action returned to the middle, where the two still-working heavyweights threw serious shots, including a solid right hand to the jaw that allowed Mehmen to finally score the takedown he had been so desperately looking for. Mehmen advanced to half guard as the fight wore down and started smashing Kudin with ground strikes, but despite landing some pretty good shots the “Caveman” ran out of time and this very competitive fight went to the judges’ scorecards. The judges scored in favor of Alexei Kudin, who picks up his first career victroy in the FNG promotion; much credit to Derrick Mehmen as well, who fought hard throughout and gave the kind of performance that should earn him another big matchup on Russian soil.

This was a quality heavyweight fight, check out the whole bout here thanks to FNG:

Ayub Gimbatov (7-1) vs Dauren Ermekov (5-2), 185 lbs

The 25 year old Gimbatov has the makings of a pretty decent middleweight prospect, with six finishes in his seven wins against above-average regional competition. Kazakhstan’s Ermekov came into this one with a much less-polished resume, though he looked to have good athleticism in his triumphant FNG debut last September. Gimbatov wanted no part of Ermekov’s explosive arsenal and initiated the clinch almost immediately, and by two minutes in the favored Russian was in top position smashing away with hammerfists. Ermekov managed to burst to his feet but Gimbatov immediately renewed his attack, tossing Ermekov back to the ground a second time before droppin huge punches on him fthat or the first round TKO stoppage. This is the type of performance Gimbatov is becoming known for – forceful, high octane, and efficient. Now 8-1, look for him to earn a bout against a top EFN middleweight like Abdulsupyan Alikhanov, Pavel Doroftei, or Andreas Michalidis next.

Gimbatov TKOs Ermekov

Igor Egorov (12-6) vs. Peter Queally (9-3), 155 lbs

After a back-and-forth first round SBG Ireland’s Queally really started pouring it on in round two, as he connected with several power punches in the opening minute. From there Queally took an opportunity to latch on to a front headlock and drill Egorov with a series of knees to the dome. That was enough to topple Egorov briefly, and Queally tried hard to finish the job with searing crosses and uppercuts that left his Russian opponent seriously hurt on the ground as the round 2 bell tolled. Egorov was flatfooted to start round 3 while Queally was still bouncing on his toes, and another well-timed uppercut from the Irishman dropped his foe yet again in the opening minute of the third. The Russian showed an incredible ability to persist despite taking massive damage, while Queally showed no mercy as he scored a pair of takedowns and continuted tagging Egorov with strikes through the end of the contest. This was a seriously impressive performance from Peter Queally, who looked patient, well-conditioned, and improved at all ranges in earning a unanimous decision victroy in his first FNG appearance.

Queally pounds on Egorov from a distance

Artur Magomedov (1-1) vs Evgeniy Bondarev (3-4), 135 lbs

Moscow’s Artur Magomedov provided the top highlight of the early undercard in his bantamweight clash with Evgeniy Bondarev. The young Krepost Fight Club representative took the wind out of Bondarev’s sails with a sternum-crunching slam before sealing the deal with a rear-naked choke. With the win Magomedov earned his first career finish after two split decisions on the judges’ scorecards in his first two FNG apperances.

Magomedov RNCs Bondarev

If you enjoy a bit of a circus act with your fights, maybe you’ll enjoy the antics of the new EFN mascot, the dancing Dagestani Lion?

And in an epic east-meets-west juxtaposition of social icons the Dagestani Lion meets South Park’s Mr. Hanky.  No flash photography, please.


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