Phoenix, Arizona: Ramil Mustapaev became the alternate for the WSOF lightweight tournament in the first preliminary fight of the night. (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
WSOF 25 took place Friday, November 20th at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. The events main draw was an 8-man lightweight elimination tournament. Burley vs. Mustapaev was a preliminary feature, which can be found live on MMA MAD.
Ramil Mustapaev opens the fight strong, finding his range with kicks and pressuring LaRue Burley. Mustapaev lands a takedown about two minutes into the round and is threatening from side control. Burley gets the fight standing back up and starts to open up as the round winds down. Ramil lands a great spinning backfist, but Burley continues to push forward with combinations. The two men are trading shots, and with one minute left Burley has Mustapaev against the cage. The Russian reverses the situation and lands an accidental low blow against Burley. The round ends with both athletes looking to land more combinations.
Burley opens the second round with a different gameplan, trying to take the fight to Mustapaev. However, Mustapaev is avoiding strikes wisely and throwing his own kicks to take away from his opponent’s momentum. Half way through the round, Ramil is landing combinations and appears to be taking over. Burley is taking heavy damage and Mustapaev lands into mount after defending a takedown. With 10 seconds left, there is no doubt this round belonged to Mustapaev.
As the third frame begins, Burley immediately shoots for the takedown and briefly has Mustapaev held against the cage. The fight returns to the feet and Mustapaev is now stuffing the oncoming takedown attempts from his opponent. The two are scrambling for position against the cage, but each time a takedown is landed, Mustapaev manages to reverse the situation. Mustapaev is landing heavy shots and threatening with submissions to punish the grappling attempts of his opponent. Burley stands up and now Mustapaev is going for the takedown, landing a single-leg and getting side guard. The round ends with Mustapaev on top.
With the victory, Mustapaev moves on as an alternate to the WSOF lightweight tournament with a professional record of 5-1. LaRue Burley drops to 6-2.