Nasrat Haqparast went the distance with former teammate John Makdessi at UFC Paris. The fight had been in the works for years but it was the Afghan who won it claiming a unanimous decision.

Haqparast decided to represent Morocco in this fight as he didn’t want to see the new flag of Afghanistan next to his name. He did manage to display the old black green and gold colours of the country on his mouthguard.

He explained the decision to represent Morocco saying the country had always supported him as a Muslim:


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Feeling out

Perhaps the two men were a little too familiar with one another because the first round was basically a prolonged feeling out process. The crowd didn’t like it but Makdessi was marginally busier and scored with some low kicks.

The second stanza wasn’t producing much more in the way of action but a spinning back fist attempt from Makdessi left an opening which Haqparast capitalized on ruthlessly, dropping the Canadian with a right hook.

It was enough for the Afghan to win the round leaving the scorecards likely level heading into the third. Haqparast started to score with punches to the body and head and crucially landed a couple of takedowns in the closing stages.

In the end all three judges scored the contest for Haqparast with the scorecards reading 30-37 (x 2) and 29-28. He improves to 14-5 and snaps his two fight losing skid while Makdessi drops to 18-8.

Afterwards Haqparasat made it clear that the well publicized animosity between him and Makdessi was over,

“We have a little history but I respect him. It didn’t get personal, everything is fine. I just love this, I’m a big UFC fan and I’m just happy to be in the UFC. I sacrificed a lot to be here.”

Best of the rest

A heavyweight fight headlined the UFC’s inaugural event in Parus and Ciryl Gane (11-1) thrilled the crowd with a third round stoppage win over Tai Tuivasa (15-4). A barrage of kicks to the body and punches to the head finished the Australian and cemented the Frenchman’s status as the #1 contender in the division.

UFC Paris, September 3rd, Paris
Ciryl Gane def. Tai Tuivasa via KO (punches) at 4:23 of R3
Robert Whittaker def. Marvin Vettori via Decision (Unanimous)
Nassourdine Imavov def. Joaquin Buckley via Decision (Unanimous)
Roman Kopylov def. Alessio Di Chirico via KO (Punches) at 1:09 of R3
William Gomis def. Jarno Errens via Decision (Majority)
Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Jourdain via Decision (Unanimous)
Abus Magomedov def. Dustin Stoltzfus via TKO Front kick and punches) at 0:19 of R1
Nasrat Haqparast def. John Makdessi via Decision (Unanimous)
Farès Ziam def. Michal Figlak via Decision (Unanimous)
Benoît Saint-Denis def. via Gabriel Miranda TKO (punches) at 0:16 of R1
Cristian Quiñónez def. via Khalid Taha TKO (punches) at 3:15 of R1
Stephanie Egger def. Ailín Pérez via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:54 of R2