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UFC St. Petersburg prelims full of epic finishes

theScore logo theScore 2019-04-20 Jack Browne
a man jumping in the air © Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

The undercard for UFC St. Petersburg kicked off with a bang...literally.

After two years away from the Octagon, lightweight Magomed Mustafaev announced his return in eye-popping fashion, delivering a spinning kick directly to the face of Rafael Fiziev en route to a first-round TKO victory.

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Later, light heavyweight Michal Oleksiejczuk quickly took out Gadzhimurad Antigulov, sending his opponent to the mat three times in just 44 seconds before using a brutal left to finally put Antigulov to sleep.

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In front of a home crowd, Shamil Abdurakhimov didn't disappoint. The Russian heavyweight sent Marcin Tybura staggering with a series of devasting second-round blows that eventually forced referee Herb Dean to step in.

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In the card's fourth bout, it was time for a ground finish. Alexander Yakovlev smartly stopped a takedown attempt by Alex da Silva, trapped him against the cage, and then used an arm-in guillotine choke. After earning his first victory in over three years, Yakovlev was understandably overcome with emotion.

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The final two fights of the prelims went the distance. Sultan Aliev earned Russia another win, beating Keita Nakamura by unanimous decision, and Movsar Evloev earned a unanimous decision victory of his own over Seungwoo Choi.

With heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Aleksei Oleinik set to clash in the main event, the crowd will likely be treated to at least one more crazy stoppage by the event's conclusion.

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