UAE Warriors 12 commenced on Friday night in Abu Dhabi with two titles on the line. While Lee Do Gyoem retained the featherweight belt with a highlight-reel knockout, Bruno Machado completely dismantled his opposition and took home the strap with a spectacular choke.

UFC veteran Mike Santiago stepped in on short notice to face Bruno Machado for the vacant lightweight title and was completely dominated.

Machado was on fire from the opening bell, utilizing his length to stick the American with sharp jabs and elbows that opened up multiple cuts across the face. Making Santiago miss and ripping accurate combinations was the story of the first round.

Continuing onslaught

When the second round came, Bruno continued his onslaught with counter left hooks and shots to the body. Santiago slipped to the floor and Machado swarmed against the cage, crushing knees to the breadbasket that visibly hurt his opponent.

The American tried to swing back wildly but Machado kept his composure and hit with precision. In a desperate attempt, Santiago dove for the legs. The Brazilian sprawled perfectly and transitioned to the anaconda choke. Not much long after, Santiago was unconscious.

The 33 year old Brazilian (14-9) wins his fifth in a row and obtains his first major title in the process. Santiago (22-14), however, loses his second in a row and has gone 1-2 since his release from the UFC.

Flying knee

In the co-main event, Lee Do Gyeom successfully defended the featherweight title. The South Korean took the center early on and established the pace of the fight.

After lots of movement and feints, Lee timed a perfect flying knee and dropped Alexandru Chitoran. The South Korean swarmed and finished him off with a few more punches.

That makes it back-to-back first round knockouts for Lee in title fights for the promotion and elevates his overall record to 8-3. Meanwhile, Chitoran loses for the first time as a professional and drops to 4-1 overall.

Best of the rest

Usman Nurmagomedov (10-0), UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s younger cousin, extends his undefeated streak by pounding out Jerry Kvarnstrom (15-15) until the Finnish fighter verbally gave up.

Nurmagomedov has now finished 9 out of 10 opponents and is quickly becoming one of the brightest lightweight prospects for the organization.

Jung Han Guk (8-7-2) and Yousef Al Housani (2-0) picked up quick first-round finishes. While Jung tapped out Max Lima with a technical heel hook, Al Housani collapsed Mohamed Arshaq Ali with two devastating leg kicks.

In a very odd turn of events, Ahmed Al Darmaki submitted Bogdan Kirilenko in the first round yet was disqualified after shoving referee Marc Goddard during the aftermath.

While Al Darmaki locked in the tight submission, the referee had to pry off the choke since it was held after the initial stoppage. The Abu Dhabi born fighter stood up immediately and grabbed Goddard by the shirt and commenced to aggressively shove him.

This resulted in Kirilenko getting the victory.

UAE Warriors 12, Abu Dhabi, July 31
Bruno Machado def. Mike Santiago via Submission (Anaconda Choke), Round 2 (Lightweight Title)
Lee Do Gyeom def. Alexandru Chitoran via TKO (Punches), Round 1 (Featherweight Title)
Usman Nurmagomedov def. Jerry Kvarnstrom via Verbal Submission (Strikes), Round 1
Jung Han Guk def. Max Lima via Submission (Heel Hook), Round 1
Yousef Al Housani def. Mohamed Arshaq Ali via TKO (Leg Kicks), Round 1
Izzeddine Al Derabani def. Rey Nacionales via Decision (Unanimous), Round 3
Bogdan Kirilenko def. Ahmed Al Darmaki via Disqualification (Referee Decision), Round 1
Manon Fiorot def. Corinne Laframboise via TKO (Punches), Round 3
Anas Siraj Mounir def. Leandro Martins via KO (Punch), Round 1
Tohir Zhuraev def. Mostafa Radi via Decision (Unanimous), Round 3