Khabib Nurmagomedov battered and bloodied Al Iaquinta and won the UFC 155-pound championship by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 223 on Saturday night.
Nurmagomedov improved to 26-0 and in a path to the lightweight championship much more laborious than his time in the ring at Barclays Center. He won 50-43 on two scorecards and 50-44 on the third.
Nurmagomedov had four fights against Tony Ferguson fall through — the latest led to Max Holloway getting the call on six days' notice. Holloway was ruled medically unfit to compete on Friday, which forced UFC to bump Iaquinta from an undercard bout to the main event.