Timur Valiev stepped into the Decagon in Kansas City looking to avenge his loss to Chris Gutierrez and establish himself as the number one contender at 135 lbs. He did just that and technique was the name of the game on Friday night. Valiev plugged all the holes that allowed the judges to see their previous fight for Gutierrez. Movement and balance allowed “Lucky” to dictate the pace and level of the fight. He was a step ahead on the feet and used backward movement to draw Gutierrez in and then lunged for strikes and takedowns. He was never in real danger in Gutierrez’ guard and used positioning against the fence to land big strikes.
The fight was all Valiev defeating Gutierrez via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
Next up, Timur “The Lucky” Valiev (11-2) battles Bekbulat Magomedov (17-1) at WSOF35 for the Bantamweight belt which has been held exclusively by Marlon Moraes since WSOF9. Valiev is considered one of the top prospects in MMA and will finally have the opportunity to add WSOF champion to his list of accolades. Fellow Dagestani Magomedov also last competed at WSOF33. Magomedov spoiled the WSOF debut of Jesse Brock and sports an impressive professional record. Magomedov vs. Valiev represents the chance for either fighter to go from heralded prospect to world champion.
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