Josh Culibao overcomes nasty groin kick, squeezes Melsik Baghdasaryan into submission

PERTH, Australia – Josh Culibao overcame adversity en route to victory Saturday at UFC 284.

In a featherweight bout on the preliminary card at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia, Culibao (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) defeated rival Melsik Baghdasaryan (7-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) by rear-naked choke submission at 2:02 of Round 2.

Before the fight even started, the bad blood flowed. At Friday’s ceremonial faceoffs, Baghdasaryan shoved Culibao in the neck area before the two fighters were separated.

In the opening round of their fight Saturday, further transgressions deepened hard feelings. Baghdasaryan drilled Culibao in the groin with a nasty spinning back kick. Culibao was visibly injured, as he stood up and sat down over and over again, as he tried to get himself right. The doctor came in for a conversation and concluded with Culibao the action could continue.

In Round 2, Culibao grabbed the left foot of Baghdasaryan during a kick and dumped his opponent to the canvas. All in one fluid motion, Culibao pounced, moved to the back, and snatched the neck. Moments later, Baghdasaryan tapped.

Culibao is unbeaten in his most recent four fights, since a submission loss to Jalin Turner in his promotional debut in 2020. The loss for Baghdasaryan was his first since his professional MMA debut in 2014.

The up-to-the-minute UFC 284 results include:

  • Josh Culibao def. Melsik Baghdasaryan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:02

  • Kleydson Rodrigues def. Shannon Ross via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:59

  • Jamie Mullarkey def. Francisco Prado via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Loma Lookboonmee def. Elise Reed via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 0:44

  • Blake Bilder def. Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Elves Brenner def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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