Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov, 36, of Buynaksk, Dagestan, Russia was one of the “UFC 251” winners. The Dagestani mixed martial artist earned his fourth victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Featuring 13 MMA matches, “UFC 251” took place at the UFC Fight Island on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on July 11, 2020 (or July 12, 2020 in the UAE). In the seventh bout, Salikhov fought Elizeu “Capoeira” Zaleski dos Santos, 33, of Francisco Beltrao, Parana, Brazil in the welterweight division.
Herb Dean served as the referee. After three five-minute rounds, the welterweight contest was left in the hands of the three judges.
One judge scored it 30-27 and one judge scored it 29-28 both in favor of Salikhov while another judge also scored it 29-28 but in favor of Santos. In the end, Dean raised the hand of Salikhov, who was declared the winner via split decision.
Winning at “UFC 251” improved Salikhov’s professional MMA record to 17 wins and 2 losses. The Dagestani MMA fighter is now riding a four-bout winning streak.
It was the second time Santos lost a UFC bout via split decision. The Brazilian MMA fighter now has 22 wins and 7 losses.
Including Brazil and Russia, 12 countries were represented at “UFC 251.” The others were Australia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Poland, Scotland, Switzerland and the U.S.
Salikhov is one of the four fighters who represented Russia. Santos was one of the eight representatives of Brazil.
In the co-main event, Max “Blessed” Holloway, 28, of Waiane, Hawaii, USA lost to UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski, 31, of Windang, New South Wales, Australia. In the main event, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, 35, of Miami, Florida, USA los to UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, 33, who was fighting out of Nigeria by way of Delray Beach, Florida.
Born on June 9, 1984, Salikhov has been competing since 2011. Before joining the UFC, he competed in Top of the Forbidden City, Beirut Elite Fighting Championship, M-1 Global, Zhong Wu Ultimate Fighting, W.I.N. Fighting Championship, Bullets Fly Fighting Championship, Cage Fighting, Superstar Fight, Kunlun Fight and International Pro Fighting Championship.
Salikhov made his UFC debut in 2017. The first three opponents he defeated in the promotion were Ricky Rainey, Nordine Taleb and Laureano Staropoli.