Abdul Azim Badakhshi made a triumphant return to action at Matrix Fight Night 13 on Saturday. The Afghan featherweight knocked out Hae Jin Park in just 18 seconds.

Badakhshi, whose girlfriend Krishna Shroff is the matchmaker,  was competing for the first time since April 2022. A ban on Afghan fighters had been imposed after  a brawl at at Matrix Fight Night 9 in which he is alleged to have broken Srikant Sekhar’s jaw.

It left  Badakhshi sitting on the sidelines for over a year and his plans to compete on the Road to UFC tournament were foiled by visa issues. He came into this contest on a three-fight winning streak and needed very little time to finish the Road FC veteran.

Knee strikes

Badakhshi began with a jab before delivering a pair of knee strikes to the body which appeared to knock Park down. From there there, the 27-year-old unleashed a barrage of ground and pound.

He landed four consecutive elbows to Park’s face and appeared to stop and start celebrating before referee Herb Dean had an opportunity to intervene. It was fortunate for Park that he did because the damage had already been done.

It was a dominant display from Badakhshi who registered the 11th knockout of his career and extended his record to 14-3. Park’s record falls to 10-4.

Featherweight title

This victory sets the stage for Badakhshi to challenge Sanjeet Budhwar for the featherweight belt. The champion successfully defended his title with a split decision win in a rematch with Shyam Anand.

Budhwar is now on a four-fight winning streak, raising his record to 10-2, while Anand’s record drops to 4-2, with both his losses coming at the hands of the same opponent. Next up for the champion could well be Badakhshi.

In the co-main event, Darkhanbek Ergeshev retained the welterweight strap with a first-round submission victory against Jason Solomon. He secured the win with a first round kimura to move up to 11-2, with six submissions. ‘King Solomon’ drops to 9-4.

Matrix Fight Night 13, Noida, October 28th
Sanjeet Budhwar def. Shyam Anand via Submission (Kimura) at 2:26 of Round 1
Darkhanbek Ergeshev def. Jason Solomon via TKO (Punches) at 0:18 of Round 1
Abdul Azim Badakhshi def Hae Jin Park via TKO (Punches) at 4:24 of Round 1
Mandeep Prajapati def. Abu Samad via Submission (Arm triangle) at 1:28 of Round 1
Yuki Angdembe def. Mohammad Mahmoudian via Decision (Unanimous)
Sahil Rana def. Đorđe Stojanović via Decision (Unanimous)
Clinton Kenin D’Cruz def. Govind Singh via TKO (Punches) at 2:09 of Round 1
Dushan Burale def. Sameer Dhiman via Decision (Unanimous)
Himanshu Kaushik def. Raish Muhamad Musa via TKO (Punches) at 2:13 of Round 1
Sonam Zomba def. Rashmi Jain via TKO (Punches) at 3:28 of Round 1
Arshiyan Memon def. Nongmaithem Bon Jovi via TKO (Punches) at 1:19 of Round 3
Satyam Kumar def. Jatin Choudhary via TKO (Punches) at 1:19 of R3