On the UFC 251 prelims, Zhalgas Zhumagulov made his promotional debut facing Raulian Paiva. The fight went like this.
Bout 3: Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-3) vs. Raulian Paiva (19-3) (Flyweight)
Paiva was throwing lots of leg kicks early on and was the more active striker in general. Both fighters were very active with punches. Zhumagulov tried for a takedown in the final minute, not getting it. Zhumagulov got on the back of Paiva near the end of the round attempting to get a takedown.
Zhumagulov caught a leg kick early in the second round, failing to get a takedown after. Zhumagulov touched one of his eyes in the second minute, but a pause due to an eye poke was never called. Zhumagulov was more active on the feet, landing with leg kicks. They clinched up halfway through the round after Paiva charged forward with punches. Paiva backed Zhumagulov against the cage often during the later half of the round. Zhumagulov got a trip takedown in the closing moments, landing elbows from full guard.
Zhumagulov got a takedown with three minutes to go in the fight, however Paiva was quick to get up. A pause came halfway through the round as Zhumagulov was hit with a kick in the groin. The fight was resumed after a few minutes of resting time for Zhumagulov. Zhumagulov got a takedown in the final minute, but Paiva got up shortly after. In the closing seconds of the fight, Zhumagulov was kneed in the groin again. Going to the judges to find a winner, Paiva was picked by all three (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
RESULT: Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via Decision, Unanimous
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