It was a rough out for Sydney’s Suman Mokhtarian at UFC Busan.
The Australian Top Team featherweight suffered a decision loss to Seungwoo Choi on the preliminary card of UFC on ESPN+ 23, which took place at Sajik Arena in South Korea on Saturday, December 21.
The South Korean immediately pressed forward from the outset, showing cleaner striking of the two; however, a point deduction from Choi grabbing the fence likely levelled the scores at the end of the first. True to his moniker, “Sting” found a home for two head kicks at the start of the second round and followed up with an ominous flurry of punches against the cage. In circling out of danger, a body kick set Mokhtarian down and allowed him to regain composure with a leg lock attempt.
Knowing he’d need a finish to get the win, Mokhtarian told his corner, “I’ll give it everything I’ve got. If I get knocked out, I get knocked out” between rounds two and three. And for a moment, he looked like he’d done it. A big right hand two minutes into the final stanza wobbled the South Korean. But only for an instant. Seconds later Mokhtarian was on the ground with Choi in top control.
After the final bell, the scorecards read 29-26, 29-26 and 29-25 in Choi’s favour. Mokhtarian, now 8-2, suffers his second straight loss. Meanwhile Choi, 8-3, picks up his first UFC win after being unsuccessful in his first two fights with the promotion.