ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Canadian flyweight Malcolm (X) Gordon lost by first-round submission to Amir (The Prince) Albazi on the undercard of a UFC Fight Night card Saturday.
Both men were making their UFC debut.
Albazi (13-1-0) took Gordon down two minutes into the first round and stayed on top, eventually mounting the Canadian with a minute remaining.
Gordon (12-4-0) reversed position but found himself in a triangle choke and had to tap with 18 seconds left in the round.
"Man I've been waiting for this opportunity since I was 14," Albazi said after the fight. "Watching every show since I was 14. So being here and getting a win, unreal. But I worked hard for this."
The two were fighting on short notice,
Gordon, a 30-year-old from Calgary who now calls Toronto home, got the call from the UFC on July 5. The 26-year-old Albazi got 10 days notice, finishing a training session and then heading to Heathrow Airport.
Gordon, the first Canadian to compete on Fight Island, was stepping in for Russian Tagir Ulanbekov, who withdrew after the recent death of head coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Albazi, a native of Iraq who fights out of England, replaced Ukraine's Oleksandr Doskalchuk, who withdraw due to medical issues, according to the UFC.
The main event of Saturday's card pitted Brazil's Deiveson Figueiredo, ranked No 1 among 125-pound contenders, and No. 2 Joseph Benavidez meeting for the vacant flyweight title.
It was Gordon's first fight since April 2019 when he needed just 92 seconds to choke out Yoni Sherbatov on a TKO card in Montreal. Saturday's loss ended his four-fight win streak.
The five-foot-seven Gordon used to train and teach at the Adrenaline Training Centre in London, Ont., but, after getting engaged, moved in January to Toronto where he now manages the Toronto BJJ gym.
He also trains at Bazooka Joe Kickboxing in Scarborough under Joe Valtellini, a former Glory welterweight champion.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2020.
The Canadian Press