Gerald Meerschaert perseverance was on full display on Saturday night.

The UFC middleweight veteran handed Makhmud Muradov his first UFC loss to open up the main card of UFC on ESPN 30. Meerschaert (33-14 MMA, 8-6 UFC) forced Muradov (25-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) to tap out with a rear-naked choke at the 1:49 mark of Round 2.

UFC on ESPN 30 took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.

It was a solid comeback win for Meerschaert and true veteran performance.

In the first round, Meerschaert found himself on the verge of getting stopped. Meerschaert was caught with a counter, as he was rushing in on Muradov early in round one. It was clear that Meerschaert was hurt and Muradov knew it.

The American did a good job at surviving despite Muradov’s efforts to finish the fight. Towards the end of the first round, Meerschaert showed recovery and had some offense of his own, getting the fight to the ground in the final 30 seconds of the fight.

In the second round, Meerschaert really turned the pace and poured it on Muradov. He pressed him and connected with solid shots that wobbled the 31-year-old. Shortly after that, he was able to take the fight to the ground where he quickly sank in a rear-naked choke to secure a victory.

Biggest underdog on the card cashing in the ticket tonight! #UFCVegas35

— UFC (@ufc) August 29, 2021

The win turns a standalone victory into a winning streak for Meerschaert, who submitted Bartosz Fabinski in April. The back-to-back victories move him to 3-2 over the span of his most recent five fights.

For Muradov, UFC on ESPN 30 marks the first loss of his promotional tenure. The defeat is his first pro MMA loss since December 2016, which snaps a 14-fight winning streak for the Uzbekistan fighter.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 30 results include:

Gerald Meerschaert def. Makhmud Muradov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:49
Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Alessio Di Chirico via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 0:17
Wellington Turman def. Sam Alvey via split decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27
Dustin Jacoby def. Darren Stewart via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:04
JJ Aldrich def. Vanessa Demopoulos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pat Sabatini def. Jamall Emmers via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:53
Mana Martinez def. Guido Cannetti via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


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