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    Ukrainian Khabib and UFC hopes: how undefeated champions were knocked out

    Last week the 301st Bellator tournament took place in Chicago, giving fans two sensations at once. In the co-main event of the evening, American Sergio Pettis lost his bantamweight belt, while in the main event Yaroslav Amosov suffered the first defeat in his professional career. The Ukrainian lost to Jamaican Jason Jackson by knockout in the third round and lost the Bellator welterweight title.

    Given Dynamo's clean record (27-0) and constant comparisons with Khabib Nurmagomedov, what happened at the Wintrust Arena ” can be called one of the main upsets of 2023.

    The stories of Khabib in MMA and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing are unique. To go through the entire sporting journey, defending gold and keeping the cherished zero in the “defeat” column is an almost impossible task. Many legends had the opportunity to conquer this peak: for example, Cain Velasquez and Chris Weidman tried on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) belt, being undefeated fighters. However, failures followed.

    Several more champions of the world's main MMA promotion have fallen from the top relatively recently.

    Joanna Jedrzejczyk

    • Record at the time of the first defeat: 14-0

    The Polish champion was predicted to have a long reign in the “straw” weight, which Joanna herself believed in… Until the quiet Rose Namajunas stood in her way, not breaking under either the pressure of Jedrzejczyk’s status or her psychological attacks. At UFC 217, all three champions lost their belts, and the first was the completely different Joanna: first she was knocked down, and then collapsed again on the floor and was beaten to a technical knockout. The legendary Madison Square Garden arena is in shock!

    Last year, after another knockout, the Pole hung up her gloves. The final record is 16-5.

    Cody Garbrandt

    • Record: 11-0

    At the same tournament in New York, immediately after the knockout of the Polish representative, another undefeated champion, Cody Garbrandt, suffered the first defeat in his career. The discredited American charmed the league management with his early victories and trash talk, so he was willingly promoted as the new Conor McGregor.

    The former broke the rails under the hype train Cody's comrade turned nemesis TJ Dillashaw. Having survived a knockdown at the end of the first round, in the second the Snake (TJ's nickname – editor's note) put out the light on Garbrandt and his future prospects. After all, six years have passed, and during this time No Love suffered four defeats (three by knockout) with two victories.

    Ronda Rousey

    • Record: 12-0

    UFC pioneer girl. It was thanks to her that boss Dana White agreed to hold women's fights in the promotion. Coming from Strikeforce and defending the belt six times, Rousey suffered a crushing defeat, after which she even wanted to commit suicide… On November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Holly Holm completely knocked out the American and derailed Ronda’s career. Then there was another failure in the fight with the “greatest” Amanda Nunes and leaving MMA.

    By the way, Holm was also undefeated at that time. However, in the first defense, the Preacher's Daughter lost early to Miesha Tate.

    The undefeated “future UFC champions” also lost epically.

    Gregor Gillespie

    • Record: 13-0

    The tough wrestler won seven fights in a row at the start of his professional career, then signed a contract with the UFC, where he scored six more victories. It is not surprising that Gillespie immediately began to be called the main threat to Khabib, fortunately, the American confidently dealt with lightweights and won over many fans with his performances.

    But at UFC 244 in New York, Gregor was “sentenced” in the first round by Kevin Lee with a brutal knockout, from which the prospect never recovered (he had only one fight in four years).

    Ben Askren

    • Record: 19-0

    The curly-haired American with an elite level of wrestling burst into the UFC with the same intention as fishing enthusiast Gillespie – to hit first defeat to Nurmagomedov. True, the level of “punching” of the jovial Ben was so bad that there was no talk of any title race. But we found out about this later…

    In July 2019, Askren was knocked out in five minutes by “The Most Dangerous Gangster” Jorge Masvidal. That finish remains the fastest in the organization to this day, and Askren, after a second defeat in a row from Demyan Maia (again early), announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.

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