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Prior to Saturday’s heavyweight bout, which took place at the UFC Fight Pass-streamed event at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, Sherman (11-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) made some disparaging comments about Abdurakhimov (18-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) fighting style, claiming that he “fights like a (expletive) girl.”
Abdurakhimov was motivated to get the job done prior to seeing Sherman’s comments, but he admitted it gave him an added push.
“I didn’t read the article until yesterday morning, but my wife just sent me the link of this interview,” Abdurakhimov told MMAjunkie after his win. “I read it. He was talking (expletive) about it that I fight like a girl. It motivates me more to come out and show him my boring fight.”
Abdurakhimov’s striking was on point in the brief contest. He landed some big shots that dropped his opponent to a knee. The fight was ruled a knockout, but Sherman popped up to his feet the moment the referee intervened. Despite some potential questions around the stoppage, Abdurakhimov thought the referee made the right call.
“I believe that was a good stoppage because when I hit him a second time he was completely out,” Abdurakhimov said. “I saw how he dropped to his knees and if the ref didn’t stop it, I could hurt him real bad.”
After taking an 11-month layoff following a main-event loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 102 in December, Abdurakhimov made a triumphant return and earned the first stoppage win of his UFC career. He said it’s one of many more to come.
“Of course I am happy with that victory being a knockout,” Abdurakhimov said. “This is not the last one. I hope I will surprise you more in the future.”
For more from Abdurakhimov, check out the video above.
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