Held stands with Machaev and (sort of) makes a point
After a dicey second round, Marcin Held outworked Murad Machaev for a decision win.
Machaev looked to catch the submission specialist with wild, winging punches. But his difficulties finding his range were compounded by the active Held, who dodged the shots and several times threatened with takedowns.
A slick move late in the first put Held in position for a choke or possible armlock, but Machaev held fast.
The Russian adjusted well in the second and landed a huge left hand that prompted a takedown attempt from Held, who tied them up for long enough to regain his wits. A right hand would soon greet him as he charged in, and Machaev wouldn't oblige his wish to grapple.
Noticeably tiring, Held dove out of the blue for a leglock, and again Machaev defended his submissions. A right to the body and left hook to the head scored for the Russian as the second frame closed.
With the likely score 1-1, it appeared to be anyone's fight. But Machaev hesitated to let his strikes go, and he couldn't find the mark on the winging shots he threw. Meanwhile, Held pumped a jab and generally stayed the busier man.
A highlight performance it was not, but when the scorecards were read, Held had won two of three rounds on judges' scorecards, 29-28.
"I stood with him to prove I'm ready to fight in the best organization in the world standing," Held said afterward. "I did it, so I'm proud."
Held (11-2 MMA, 3-1 BFC) improves his current win streak to three after losing to now-champ Michael Chandler in season 4's opening round. Machaev (9-1 MMA, 0-1 BFC), who made his U.S. debut, loses his first professional outing.