February 8, 2023

USPC on ESPN 26 play-by-play and live results

Round 1 – Morozov holds the center early, but he has to step back slightly to slip some big taha left-handed. Low kick from Taha countered with the right hand from Morocco. The two moved well to begin with, and Taha thought very actively through his footsteps. Morozov landed with one left hand. Morozov shoots from the range and enters and folds the body. He twists back and manages to throw Taha on the canvas. Half protection under Taha. Morozov controls from above with shoulder pressure. Taha is locked from the bottom and prevents real damage, but Morozov is lurking on the side of the body, controlling what was now. Taha tries to chase for free, but Morozov restrains his head and blocks it. Still, Taha can go back to full defense and then attack the left leg. He gets Morozov off-balance. Morozov is clearly comfortable in that position because he punches his opponent when he defends the leglock. The round ends there, with MMA Junkie giving it to Morozov, 10-9.

Round 2 – Taha comes out quickly and throws punches, although Morozov moves well in retreat. Taha blocked a high kick, but then scored for the front foot. Taha goes back on foot, but Morozov is on top with his right hand. Morozov follows with an upward. The fire breaks out, and Taha gets the score with a big right hand. Taha won a little on foot. They exchange back, it’s Morozov who lands a big left hand. Morozov changes positions and re-enters and works Taha on the canvas. Morozov holding from behind the padlock. Taha struggles with his legs, but Morozov pulls him back to the ground. Taha immediately returned to his feet, but Morozov grabbed him from outside. Some short punches and knees inside Morozov. Taha tries to fight hands off. Morozov travels with him again, quickly slipping behind in the downgrade. Taha tripod, and Morozov is high on the back, but still. Time is the torque time. Morozov can not get suffocation, so will settle for punches for hours. MMA Junkie gives it back to Morozo, 10-9.

Round 3 – Morozov quickly exits and lands a large left hand. Taha enjoys doing business, and unravels some great scenes. Both seem still new. Morozov is ready to trade right now, having some success, but putting himself on the line of fire. Morozov shoots inside, defends Taha before turning the punches, and then returns to relegation. Excellent order there. Taha on his knees, and Morozov slips behind. He drives on short knees as Taha goes back to his feet. Taha tries to break the grip again, but Morozov is relentless in his control and efforts to travel. He gets a score from someone, but Taha gets back on his feet. Morozov is still happy to be in control. He gets another trip, and Taha goes up again, but he can’t free himself. Morozov will not leave this bottleneck. With one minute left at last, he lets go and goes back to the center. Taha comes out swinging, but he misses a small zip. Morozov descends a large left. Taha is finally pressed with strikes, but Morozov handles them well for hours. MMA Junkie gives Morozov, 10-9, the final round, giving him a 30-27 fight.

BetMGM Contradictions: Taha-145, Morozov +120
As a result: Sergei Morozov Def. Khalid Taha by consensus (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Photos: UFC at ESPN26: Best Photos from Las Vegas
Posts: Sergei Morozov (17-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Khalid Taha (13-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
section: Phantomweight
Broadcast: ESPN / ESPN +
Referee: Herb Teen
Judgment: Mike Bell (30-27), Dave Hagen (30-27), Brian Miner (30-27)