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UFC Fight Night 80: Fil-Am Phillipe Nover loses close split decision to Tukhugov

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The “Filipino Assassin”, in a reversal of fortune from his UFC Fight Night Manila bout, was on the other end of a close decision early Friday morning during the UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant held at the The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In his last bout held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, the Filipino-American featherweight bested South Korean mixed martial artist Yui Chul Nam in a controversial split decision win to the delight of the hometown crowd.

Prior to this bout with Russian Zubaira Tukhugov, Nover was riding a four-fight winning streak with three of those fights coming by way of decision victories.

The Filipino Assassin and the Russian Warrior figured in a stand-up battle in the first round with Tukhugov. Kicks by Nover kept this distance but the Russian closed the round strong with a huge combination that landed cleanly.

In the second round, Thukhugov was the aggressor in attempting kicks that were blocked by Nover in the early-goings of the round. Lefts and rights by the Russian landed midway through the round that rocked the Filipino Assassin. The two then closed out the round by exchanging fists to the delight of the Las Vegas crowd.

With his back to the wall, Nover switched stances and was light on his feet to confuse his opponent. As the Russian went for a shoot, the 31-year-old Filipino-American was able to land a huge left kick for his cleanest shot for the night. However, Tukhogov shrugged it off and continued to be aggressive. Nover then clinched the Russian to the corner but could not contain his opponent. Tukhogov tried to go for the knockout but missed badly to close out the match.

The judges deemed that match in favor of the Russian by a close split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). With the loss, Nover’s record drops to 11-6-1 while Tukhogov goes up to an outstanding 18-3 slate, winning all three of his UFC fights.

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