After missing the 2022 PFL season due to injury, Movlid Khaybulaev is looking to keep his undefeated MMA record alive and continue his chase to becoming a two-time PFL World Champion. A protege of the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov, Khaybulaev went through Lazar Stojadinovic, Lance Palmer, Brendan Loughnane and Chris Wade en route to becoming PFL Featherweight World Champion in 2021.
Khaybulaev, who holds the record for fastest knockout in PFL history, started his 2023 season with a decision win over Ryoji Kudo.
Tyler Diamond has been a highly entertaining fighter to PFL fans thus far, but this will be his first time competing in MMA in two years after dealing with injuries. A freestyle wrestling expert representing Team Alpha Male, Diamond’s 2021 PFL season saw him defeat Jo Sungbin by decision before dropping another decision to Brendan Loughnane.
A finish in any round will lock up a playoff spot for Khaybulaev, while Diamond needs a stoppage win to be eligible for a potential playoff spot.
A couple of strikes and a knee attempt by Khaybulaev to start. One-two catches Diamond, briefly stunning him and sending him back. Khaybulaev pressures him and lands another knee, but Diamond is able to get away. Strong right hand by Khaybulaev. Left hand to the body by Diamond. Jumping knee attempt again by Khaybulaev. Khaybulaev misses a high kick, but Diamond is a little bloodied around his hairline.
Diamond throws to the body but doesn’t land. The two circle around the center of the SmartCage. Another knee by Khaybulaev is blocked. Both men land a jab. Kick to the body by Diamond. Khaybulaev lands a right hand. Diamond answers by going for a takedown and gets stuffed by Khaybulaev, who locks in a front face lock, as he looks for a choke. Diamond gets back up and looks for a trip before the two break off. Diamond lands a jab. Leg kick by Diamond gets Khaybulaev to spin around. Khaybulaev misses a shot and Diamond lands inside.
Khaybulaev lands a big jumping knee that drops Diamond! Diamond is stunned as Khaybulaev rushes ground-and-pound trying to get a finish! Diamond gets saved by the bell!
Khaybulaev takes Diamond down right away as Diamond tries to get away. When that doesn’t work, Diamond tries to go for Khaybulaev’s neck. Right hand to the face of Diamond. Khaybulaev locks in underhooks on the ground as Diamond tries to go for a triangle but is quickly fended off. Khaybulaev pressures, going for an arm-triangle choke, but Diamond is able to escape it.
Diamond tries to circle and get away from Khaybulaev. Diamond attempts to get to the SmartCage wall, but it’s a struggle with the kind of pressure that Khaybulaev is applying. Khaybulaev is attempting to get an arm-triangle again, and he finally gets it locked in and scores the submission late in the second round!
Khaybulaev puts on yet another huge display to remain unbeaten and clinch a spot in the playoffs!
Movlid Khaybulaev def. Tyler Diamond via second-round submission (arm-triangle choke, 4:23)