Bahadurzada Seizes Glory World Series Crown in Moscow

By Chris Nelson May 28, 2011
Siyar Bahadurzada (file photo) notched another knockout Saturday. | Photo: Stephen Martinez/

It took longer than both of his previous tournament wins combined, but inside Moscow’s Forum Hall on Saturday, Siyar Bahadurzada did what most had expected him to do since October: he won the United Glory 2010-2011 MMA World Series.

Having notched first-round knockouts of Derrick Noble and John Alessio in the quarter- and semifinals, respectively, the 27-year-old Afghan-born welterweight stood opposite a familiar face in last round of the grand prix. It was Bahadurzada’s Golden Glory stablemate, Tommy Depret, who reached the final with a pair of first-round submissions over UFC veterans David Bielkheden and Roan Carneiro. All told, the pair had torn through the opening rounds with a combined 7:05 of work, but victory would not come so easy this night.

Depret was on the offensive early, lobbing outside thigh kicks and sharp right hooks at Bahadurzada, who clipped Depret with a kick to the groin inside the first minute. Recovering quickly, Depret bloodied the nose of Bahadurzada with a stiff left jab, then wound up on top after having a shot sprawled on by “Siyar the Great.” The Belgian appeared to sniff victory with a tight heel hook, but Bahadurzada gutted out the attempt and spent the second half of the round working from Depret’s open guard, where both men kept active.

Bahadurzada’s heavy, winging shots began finding their target early in the second. Dozens of punches combined with knees in the clinch to put Depret on rubber legs for the first 90 seconds of the frame. After a brief interlude on the ground, Bahadurzada felled Depret with a knee to the face and pounced with punches until referee Niels Beursken had seen enough. Bahadurzada officially claimed the tournament title and his sixth consecutive win at 4:16 of the second round.

Strikeforce 2011 heavyweight grand prix semifinalist Sergei Kharitonov looked to keep active with a kickboxing bout in his home country, but the Russian didn’t wind up getting much ring time against “Mighty” Mo Siliga.

The big men worked in close quarters, trading punches in the pocket and knees in the clinch until a left hook and follow-up right from Kharitonov floored the former K-1 tournament champ. Moments later, Kharitonov put Siliga down for good with a devastating uppercut which left Mo unable to clamber to his feet and Kharitonov victorious for the second time in his kickboxing career.

Visa issues kept Houston Alexander from his appointment with well-traveled Dutchman Jason Jones, who instead met Russian replacement Shamil Abdulmuslimov in a middleweight tilt.

Jones largely controlled the action through the first two periods, which turned slow and sloppy when both men emerged exhausted from their corners for round two. Abdulmuslimov took the back of a weary Jones early in the final frame, but was unable to coax a tap with a rear-naked choke. When the fighters worked back to their feet, Abdulmuslimov dived in for a single-leg which Jones timed perfectly, raising his right knee to knock the Russian out cold. Abdulmuslimov lay unconscious on the mat for several minutes and was eventually stretchered from the ring for evaluation at a nearby hospital.

Two-time UFC vet Denis Stojnic stopped 21-year-old Mladen Kujundzic with just one second remaining in the opening round of their heavyweight bout. Stojnic, 31, tripped his Croatian foe to the mat almost instantly and moved to side control. Failing on a heel hook attempt, the Bosnian defended a pair of single-legs before spinning around to take Kujundzic’s back. With his man on his knees, Stojnic could not find the angle to sink in a rear-naked choke; after dropping a few more punches from back mount, Stojnic tried again, eliciting the tap from Kujundzic at 4:59 of the first stanza.

Fighting at a hefty 244 pounds, Golden Glory product Dion Staring -- who typically campaigns at light heavyweight -- made quick work of 238-pound Roman Savochka. The fighters hit the floor early, where Staring fended off multiple triangle-choke attempts from the Russian. Winding up in side control with Savochka turtling, Staring drilled a few knees to the ribs and a dozen unanswered punches to the head before Savochka tapped out at 2:35 of the first round.

Rasul Mirzaev dominated fellow Russian featherweight Roman Kishev for the duration of their brief affair. Kishev escaped an early armbar attempt, but ate subsequent hard punches while on his knees from which he could not recover. Effectively using multiple cartwheel guard-passes to batter his opponent on the floor, Mirzaev secured control of Kishev’s back, where he chicken-winged his countryman’s arm, peeled off to the side and forced Kishev to submit to an armbar at the 3:10 mark.

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