Eagle FC 44: Kharitonov vs. Spong Preview

Eagle FC will get a larger spotlight than usual when they broadcast an event on Friday night. The promotion, which is owned by former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, will make its U.S. debut when hosting a card from the FLXcast Arena in Miami, Florida, USA.

The lineup is quite strong, featuring numerous names that are known from their time in UFC, Bellator or PFL. In the main event, veteran name Sergei Kharitonov will face multi-combat sports talent Tyrone Spong.

Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (6:00PM EST) (GoFLX)

Bout 1: Sitik Muduev (9-2) vs. Ayadi Majdeddine (10-3) (Lightweight)

The card will kick off with a lightweight fight between Sitik Muduev and Ayadi Majdeddine.

Majdeddine will be fighting for his first win in nearly five years. He made his return to action last year, fighting for the first time since 2017. But his return didn’t last long, as his fight against Joziro Boye was stopped in the second minute due to an accidental low blow.

Muduev won in his last fight, appearing on a CFFC show in late 2020 to defeat Frank Buenafuente.

Bout 2: Loik Radzhabov (15-4-1) vs. Zach Zane (15-9) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

In the first of two bouts that will showcase EFC’s 165-pound division, Loik Radzhabov and Zach Zane will meet.

Radzhabov is appearing for the first time after wrapping up a run with the PFL. He fought in their 2019 and 2021 seasons, making it to the grand finals both times. He wasn’t able to win the championship in the end in either instance. In 2019, he lost a decision to Natan Schulte. More recently, he was beaten in the finals by Raush Manfio.

Zane is a former Bellator fighter that has competed as a pro since 2015. He is coming off an extremely quick win from the regional scene, beating Steven Siler on a show in the Fall in mere seconds.

Bout 3: Shawn Bunch (10-5) vs. Firdavs Khasanov (8-2) (Bantamweight)

Bantamweights Shawn Bunch and Firdavs Khasanov will be part of Friday’s festivities.

Bunch scored a win last time around, defeating Randy Saadeh on a UAE Warriors show. This put him back into the win column after previously taking two losses in Bellator.

Khasanov has yet to bounce back since he took his first pro loss. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak after getting submitted by Nurbek Bolotbekov last year.

Bout 4: Miles Hunsinger (7-0) vs. Demarques Jackson (11-6) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

Undefeated Miles Hunsinger will return in the next bout against Demarques Jackson.

Hunsinger has a flawless record of seven wins. His last appearance dates back to September 2019, where he beat Nate Kearsley on an LFA card.

Jackson is making his first appearance after a two-fight run in Bellator. He was unsuccessful with the promotion last year, losing to Grachik Bozinyan and Mark Lemminger.

Bout 5: Yorgan De Castro (7-3) vs. Shaun Asher (13-4-1) (Heavyweight)

Heavyweights Yorgan De Castro and Shaun Asher will fight on the prelims.

De Castro is a former UFC fighter. He departed the promotion last year after falling into a three-fight losing streak. He got out of that skid in November, defeating Danyelle Williams in the main event of a CES card.

Asher will be fighting to bounce back from a stoppage loss he took to Steve Mowry on a Bellator card last year. He had two regional wins before then.

Bout 6: Dylan Salvador (3-1) vs. Arman Ospanov (11-4) (Featherweight)

Rising featherweight Dylan Salvador will get a huge challenge on the prelims when he faces Arman Ospanov.

Ospanov participated in PFL’s most recent season, appearing once during the year. His sole fight for the promotion was a loss, suffering a second-round finish defeat to Chris Wade.

Salvador’s last appearance saw him compete in a one-night MMA tournament. Similar to Invicta FC’s “Phoenix Series” format, he won two, one-round fights to make it to the finals, which was a three-round bout. He took his first pro loss in that final, losing a split decision to Ali Zebian.

Salvador missed weight for this fight on Thursday, coming in three-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit, per MMA Junkie.

Main Card (GoFLX)

Bout 7: Raimond Magomedaliev (8-1) vs. Anthony Njokuani (16-12) (Welterweight)

The main card of Eagle FC will kick off with a fight between Raimond Magomedaliev and veteran Anthony Njokuani.

Njokuani is an incredibly experienced fighter that has been competing for nearly two decades. Many will remember him for his stints in WEC and UFC.

Friday will be Njokuani’s first appearance in MMA since 2016. He has remained active in combat sports in recent years, competing in kickboxing, Muay Thai, and even bare-knuckle MMA.

Njokuani will be fighting to break a five-fight losing streak that developed during his last MMA run.

Magomedaliev is competing in Eagle FC after a stint in ONE Championship. He was on a strong run in the promotion in recent years, stringing together three consecutive wins between 2020 and 2021.

Bout 8: John Howard (29-17-1) vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov (9-0) (Welterweight)

The second fight on the main card is much like the first. In another prospect versus veteran battle, undefeated Ramazan Kuramagomeodv will fight John Howard.

Kuramagomedov has scored nine wins as a pro thus far. His more recent appearances were on a CFFC card in 2020 and a UAE Warriors event last year. Both fights resulted in a submission victory for him.

Howard, a former UFC and PFL fighter, has kept active since joining the regional scene last year. In his first fight on the scene, he beat Ozzie Alvarez at a CES event in August. Two months later, he dropped a decision to Tyler Ray.

Bout 9: Ray Borg (14-5) vs. Cody Gibson (18-7) (Bantamweight)

Two former UFC fighters will collide in the next fight, as Ray Borg and Cody Gibson will meet.

Borg was cut from the UFC roster in 2020 after a 12-fight run for them. He made his return to action in June 2021, going the distance against Jesse Arnett for a win on a UAE Warriors card. He was set to challenge Vinicius de Oliveira for UAE Warrior’s belt later in the year, although a positive COVID-19 test took him out of that fight.

Gibson has been on the regional scene for quite some time now. His UFC run was much shorter, lasting just four fights from 2014 to 2015. He has been dominant on the regional scene since that time, picking up six wins through seven appearances.

Gibson hopes a win on Friday night could put him back into the UFC.

Bout 10: Rashad Evans (19-8-1) vs. Gabriel Checco (12-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans will come out of retirement in the co-main event, fighting Gabriel Checco.

Evans announced his retirement from MMA in 2018. This came after his fifth consecutive loss in the UFC, which was against Anthony Smith at UFC 255.

Evans, 42, has a big task ahead of him this weekend, as he looks to not only shake off any ring rust but break a losing streak that dates back to 2015. The fight is also a historic one for him, as it will be his first appearance outside of the UFC since his fifth pro bout, which was all the way back in 2004.

Checco, the opponent for Evans, is currently riding the momentum of a first-round finish win that he scored against Simon Marini at XMMA 3.

Bout 11: Tyrone Spong (2-0) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (33-9) (Heavyweight)

Heavyweight action will end the evening, as veterans Sergei Kharitonov and Tyrone Spong will fight in the main event.

Spong was originally scheduled to face Antonio Silva, although plans later changed and he was given Kharitonov.

Spong’s MMA record is almost misleading. While he has only fought twice in MMA, he has extensive experience in kickboxing and MMA. Highlights of his kickboxing career include fights in K-1 and GLORY Kickboxing. His boxing record, which he has developed from 2015 to 2019, is a flawless 14 victories.

Kharitonov is a veteran of Bellator, Strikeforce and Pride FC. His last Bellator appearance was in August, where he lost to Cheick Kongo in a second-round rear naked choke outcome. He has since bounced back with a win, defeating Fabio Maldonado on a show in November.

A win for Kharitonov on Friday would just add to his already storied career as a heavyweight. While he can end the undefeated record of Spong, Spong will be fighting to score his first big win in MMA.

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