UFC 294: Ikram Aliskerov Steamrolls Through Short-Notice Warlley Alves

Ikram Aliskerov and Warlley Alves, UFC 294 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Hidden among the rest of the reshuffling of UFC 294 was Ikram Aliskerov being matched up with short-notice replacement Warlley Alves on the PPV main card, a bout the Dagestani won by first round knockout.

Ikram was scheduled to fight Nassourdine Imavov, a top-15 ranked middleweight, but when Imavov pulled out he was scheduled to face aging welterweight Warlley Alves in Abu Dhabi. Warlley entered the cage on a two-fight losing streak for his first middleweight fight since 2014. His opponent seemed to be one of the hottest new talents in the UFC 185-lb division after knocking out Phil Hawes in his UFC debut. Aliskerov is also known for being arguably UFC 294 card-mate Khamzat Chimaev’s toughest pre-UFC fight; he defended Chimaev’s takedowns in their BRAVE CF bout back in 2019 but was then knocked out.

Both men opened orthodox as Warlley threw a leg kick to kick the opening round off. Ikram ate a few more of those without returning fire; soon a leg kick buckled his knee slightly. Ikram looked to set up his counter right hand as Warlley came into the pocket and had some success with that and push kicks to the stomach. Aliskerov landed a right hand followed by a jab that dropped Warlley momentarily. He got back up but Ikram poured on the volume and a flying knee seemed to seal the deal as Alves collapsed after only a few more punches, causing the referee to stop the fight.

Ikram Aliskerov looked like the real deal as he got a stoppage in less than half a round. He thanked the UAE fans for their support and called for a top-10 opponent for his next fight.

Official Result: Ikram Aliskerov def. Warlley Alves by TKO (flying knee and punches) Round 1, 2:07

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