Islam Makhachev was a huge favorite to defeat Arman Tsarukyan at UFC St. Petersburg, and while he did so, the vaunted grappler was tested by the newcomer.

Tsarukyan slipped not long into the fight, and Makhachev proceeded to rush in search of a takedown. Tsarukyan attempted to counter with a takedown of his own, but eventually, Makhachev swept him to the ground. Tsarukyan scrambled back to his feet and moments later, became the first man to take Makhachev down in the Octagon. 

In round two, Tsarukyan tried taking Makhachev down, but the renowned grappler defended. Moments later, Makhachev scored with a nice trip, but Tsarukyan quickly popped back to his feet. Not long after, Makhachev found himself defending a kimura attempt. 

Early into round three, Makhachev landed with a hard kick, but was promptly forced to defend yet another takedown attempt. At around the three-minute mark, Makhachev took Tsarukyan down, and although the latter got back to his feet, Makhachev scored with another TD seconds later. As was the case throughout much of the fight, Makhachev was unable to land any telling strikes from the top, due to Tsarukyan’s impressive scrambling abilities. 

All three judges understandably gave the 27-year-old Makhachev the nod, but it was a noteworthy performance by his 22-year-old opponent.

Here are the results so far for UFC St. Petersburg.

Islam Makhachev def. Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Sergei Pavlovich def. Marcelo Golm via KO (punches) R1, 1:06

Roxanne Modafferi def. Antonina Shevchenko via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Krzysztof Jotko def. Alen Amedovski via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)

Movsar Evloev def. SeungWoo Choi via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)

Sultan Aliev def. Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 20-27, 30-27)

Alexander Yakovlev def. Alex Da Silva via submission (guillotine choke) R2, 3:10

Shamil Abdurakhimov def. Marcin Tybura via TKO (punches) R2, 3:15

Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov via KO (punches) R1, 0:44

Magomed Mustafaev def. Rafael Fiziev via TKO (kick & punches) R1, 1:26

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