R1: Minakov comes out with the overhand right/kick to the cup combination. Herb Dean sees it and we pause while Kongo tries to inconspicuously nurture his genitals. Minakov crowds Kongo on the restart but the Frenchman's straight right steers the Russian back. Minakov drops his head and knifes into the clinch, hitting an inside trip with underhooks. Kongo tries to cage walk with a full, open guard and Minakov gets a body lock from the top to stop it.
Kongo posts an arm to stand up and Minakov rises up with a nasty sequence of short right hands. Kongo takes a knee and eats another stiff shot to the pills just as he stands back up, this time via a knee. He folds over and Minakov lands another hard knee to the face before Herb Dean steps in. Kongo takes a seat and resumes the aforementioned genital nurturing. Dean takes one point for the second foul. Kongo throws the 1-2-3 and lands the last pair clean, snapping Minakov's head back. Kongo comes in too aggressively and gets dropped by a Minakov right hand, who then pounces and sits back for a leg lock. Kongo defends and they hang out in the 50/50 guard. Kongo maneuvers for a heel hook but Minakov rolls away from it. Minakov sits forward and gets on top in half guard, throwing lefts. 9-9 Minakov with the point deduction.
R2: Kongo declines the glove touch. Minakov forces Kongo into a corner but it's Kongo who changes levels and snares the takedown. Minakov creates space with half-butterfly guard and stands back up, then circles off the fence. Kongo throws two short knees to the body; Minakov responds with one of his own. Kongo motions that the knee landed low again and Herb Dean disagrees, but debates it for a moment with Kongo. Kongo lands two nice straight lefts, then a right body kick.
Minakov throws a kick and a right hand on his way into the clinch but Kongo pushes him away and lands a straight right. Minakov clubs Kongo at with a spinning back-fist close range the Frenchman looks to be stunned while wobbling backwards. Kongo plays possum after a Minakov right hand and heaves a big right when Minakov presses in. Minakov takes Kongo down and transitions to back control. Kongo rolls out and ends the round on his feet. 10-9 Minakov.
R3: Kongo uncorks a laser-straight right hand that lands, then pressures Minakov into reverse with short and heavy rights. Minakov changes levels and hits a takedown, using Kongo's forward momentum against him. Minakov hooks Kongo's left leg to prevent the cage walk and buries his head in his chest. Kongo over-hooks Minakov's right arm and gets wrist control on his left for some adequate defense.
Herb Dean urges Minakov to work and he does, sitting up with alternating left/right hooks. Kongo sits forward and snares a counter single-leg takedown. Kongo with a knee to the body as Minakov leans back on the fence in guard. Kongo given multiple warnings for grabbing the shorts. Kongo ties up Minakov's legs as the Russian goes behind him and crotch-cradles for a brilliant sweep. Minakov lands in crucifix position and hammers down elbows. 10-9 Minakov.
R4: Kongo stuffs Minakov's takedown with underhooks and hits a counter throw. Minakov turtles with wrist control to keep Kongo's hands occupied while he's standing up, but Kongo puts him right back down. Dean warns Kongo for the fourth or fifth time for grabbing the shorts. Kongo sits up in half guard and drops some heavy elbows to the thigh as Minakov urges the ref by crying, "Shorts!" Herb Dean steps in and tells Kongo it's his last warning. Minakov complains again and Herb tells him he's not grabbing the shorts.
Minakov reaches inside the leg for a switch but Kongo cinches both of his knees, picks up his lower half and drops the Russian back down. Kongo keeps the legs cinched while Minakov tries to scramble free to no avail. Kongo overhooks the head and lands more short elbows to the thigh and ribs. Herb stands them up with 12 seconds left and an exhausted Minakov eats a hands-free knee to the body, then hits an inside trip at the bell. 10-9 Kongo.
R5: Minakov drags Kongo down to start the final round. Kongo holds onto a body locks to control Minakov's posture. Minakov stays active with lefts to the body. Minakov triangles Kongo's trapped leg in half guard and throws right hands, looking to punch enough to avoid a stand up. Chopping left hands to the body from Minakov.
Minakov steps into full mount with two minutes left and fires down right hands. Minakov cradles Kongo's head and gets into arm-triangle position, but lets it go in order to posture up with more ground and pound. Kongo can't shake his hips loose and ends up throwing strikes from the bottom in a futile attempt at balancing the scales. Short left elbows from Minakov, who will finish the round on top. 10-9 Minakov for a 48-46 his way on my card.
Vitaly Minakov defeats Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision (48-46 x 3)