Free Fight: Tofiq Musaev outbattles Patricky Freire to win lightweight grand prix at Rizin FF 20

Rizin FF 20 saw the final rounds of the Japanese promotion’s lightweight grand prix, and the pre-tournament favorite fell at the final hurdle.

Bellator veteran and longtime lightweight contender Patricky Freire was expected by many to go all the way in the Rizin lightweight tournament, and his devastating knockout performance in the semifinals only served to further whet the appetite ahead of the final later the same night.

But Freire’s opponent, Kazakhstan’s Tofiq Musaev, proved every bit “Pitbull’s” equal in a hard-fought final battle that went all the way to the scorecards.

After a cagey opening, Musaev let fly with his shots as the pair went toe to toe in a wild final minute of the first round. But Musaev didn’t just stand and bang for the entire fight. He smartly mixed up his strikes with takedown attempts that kept “Pitbull” on the back foot throughout the second round. At one point, he even sent the Brazilian through the ring ropes with one takedown attempt as Friere found himself crashing down onto the arena floor.

Once the bout resumed, Musaev went back to work and used his more well-rounded approach to hold the upper hand over Freire through the remainder of Round 2, then the majority of Round 3 to claim a unanimous decision victory, and the Rizin lightweight grand prix title.

Recap the back-and-forth matchup at Rizin FF 20 via the video above.

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