Abdul Azim Badakhshi continued his good form as he racked up a third consecutive victory in the main event at Matrix Fight Night 8 in New Delhi. The featherweight is emerging as the Indian promotion’s biggest star.

This was Badakhshi’s second headline slot in a row. His knockout win over Marcelo Guarilha served as the main event of MFN 8 back in December.

Up against another Brazilian here, ‘The Afghan Lion’ attacked Fabricio Oliveira With some big combinations before grappling with his opponent against the side of the cage. Both men exchanged a set of knees in the clinch with Oliveira landing a one-two combination on the break.

Oliveira started brightly in the second stanza and cracked his opposite number with a pair of leg kicks. But he was soon caught with a right hook on the counter.

Badakhshi landed with a body kick and both men scored with stout hooks before Oliveira shot for the single leg. The Afghan defended well and reversed the position.

Clean strikes

With the Badakhshi on top, the Brazilian went on a continued search for a leg lock but ate a series of heavy punches for his trouble. The punishment continued towards the end of the round – had it gone on any longer then a stoppage looked likely.

Badakhshi appeared composed and well in control in the final round as he continued to dictate the pace, using heavy one-two combinations, and keeping his opponent at bay with the jab.

Oliveira fired back with a right hook and followed it with a right uppercut. But it did little to stem the tide as Badakhshi began to find joy with single shots – chopping up the lead leg and planting some naked right crosses on the chin.

The 31-year-old attempted another takedown but once more the sprawl was excellent from the Brave CF veteran as a dished out a brutal knee to the face.

The Brazilian responded in turn by attacking the legs but ate another right cross. He tried in vain for another takedown but once more.

Badakhshi was untroubled as he planted another savage knee – finishing the fight with a flurry of clean strikes to put the result beyond all doubt.

Decision win

All three judges scored the contest in favour of the Afghan with identical scorecards. Badakhshi won by a margin of 29-28 across the board to extend his winning streak to three.

With the win Badakhshi moves his record up up to 13-3 after scoring back to back victories against Brazilians. Oliveira slips to 12-9-1 after suffering his second successive loss.

After the fight Badakhshi thanked the Indian fans for their support,

“I wish to thank my family, and MFN. I want to thank all the fans. I have come from Afghanistan. While my country is in critical condition, I wish to spread the fighting spirit of Afghanistan. I will continue to fight and keep making my nation proud. I also want to thank the Indian fans for showing their support to me,” Badakhshi said in the wake of his victory.

Abdul Azim Badakhshi celebrates with the Afghan flag

Best of the rest

Angad Bisht faced Chaitanya Gavali in a bantamweight bout and won with a rear naked choke in the second round. He improves to 7-3 and makes it back to back wins while his opponent drops to 7-8.

Matrix Fight Night 8, New Delhi, April 1st
Abdul Azim Badakhshi defeats Fabricio Oliveira via Decision (Unanimous)
Sanjeet Budhwar defeats Dhruv Chaudhary via TKO (Round 2)
Zahoor Shah defeats Srikant Sekhar via TKO (Round 1)
Angad Bisht defeats Chaitanya Gavali via Submission (Round 2)
Shyamanand defeats Krishna Heer via TKO (Round 1)
Rahul Thapa defeats Kushal Vyas via TKO (Round 1)
Musa Raish defeats Bonjovi via TKO (Round 3)
Sagar Thapa defeats Tanish Gupta via Decision (Split)
Chungreng Koren defeats Aman Saini via TKO (Round 2)