FOX Sports Asia lasted the full three rounds as we share our take on Kolobegov’s triumph over Silva at ACB 82.
Both fighters made their way to the cage at Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) 82 with a look of pure determination and confidence on their faces. The crowd was buzzing with excitement as the main event of the evening was about to be underway.
As referee Herb Dean gave the fighters their final instructions, both men were bouncing, looking ready for a brawl, intensely staring each other down amidst a blood-soaked cage.
Kolobegov looked more than ready to step up to the challenge and began the fight by pushing the pace and trying to string together combinations. Silva however had excellent timing and great success using a low lead inside leg kick and jabs to keep Kolobegov at bay.
Despite the accumulating damage, Kolobegov continued to push through – showing just how determined he was. As the round wore on Kolobegov’s persistence began to pay off.
He began to land a few combinations as Silva started slowing down just a bit. The damage from the low leg kicks was accumulating as the inside of Kolobegov’s lead leg was already bruising.
This first round went off with everything you could want from two powerful fighters. There was some banter inside the cage coming from Silva trying to get under Kolobegov’s skin and plenty of action from both fighters.
Round two started off with Silva pushing the pace and looking massively confident as Kolobegov was starting to slow down just a bit. It looked as though the leg kicks had started to pay off.
Despite the accumulated damage, Kolobegov was consistently circling on the outside trying to stay away from Silva. Kolobegov was also showing great counter striking this round, doing an excellent job of using his footwork and constant movement while Silva was driving forward.
Kolobegov’s movement also made it harder for Silva to land as many kicks, which was certainly a relief for Kolobegov as those kicks looked and sounded cruel.
When the bell rang at the end of the round Silva was still intensely staring down Kolobegov, showing he wasn’t intimidated by Kolobegov’s powerful counterpunching, despite the swelling on his left eye.
Round three showed both of the fighters exhibiting signs of fatigue, the snap had left most of their strikes and they began to settle into trading blows rather than using footwork.
Kolobegov was now more on the offensive, having increasing success landing his combinations, timing the leg kicks from Silva in order to initiate his counters. Both fighters showed heart trying to push the pace as much as big guys can in the later rounds.
As the time drew to a close, Silva’s face was swelling even more and the crowd was getting louder cheering on both fighters. With one last attempt to goad Kolobegov into a late exchange, Silva dropped his hands and taunted him.
The final bell rang with both fighters smiling and giving each other a hug.
In a split decision win Kolobegov had his hand raised alongside a very unhappy Silva who believed he should have been the victor.
The fight was extremely close and I feel that both men did enough to win, but Kolobegov edged out the victory on accuracy, cage control and aggression in my opinion. He did an excellent job pushing the pace and counterstriking when he was showing a bit of fatigue.
In a surprise, Kolobegov announced this may be his last fight as he has to undergo surgery. We will have to wait and see if this promising fighter has what it takes to come back from an even tougher battle in the form of surgery.
Tommy “WildCard” Hayden is a former UFC fighter and Head MMA Coach at Elite Fight Club, Bangkok.