After a tough start to his UFC career this past February, Russian prospect Albert Tumenov righted the ship this past weekend in Cincinnati.
The highly touted Tumenov entered the UFC riding an eight-fight win streak, including five consecutive first-round finishes, but the talented youngster faltered in his debut against Ildemar Alcantara in Brazil. This loss brought Tumenov’s overall record to 12-2 (UFC 0-1), putting the 22-year-old welterweight in need of a win to keep his place in the promotion. “Einstein” answered the call by putting on a show against Anthony Lapsley at UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva.
After tasting Tumenov’s power early on, Lapsley repeatedly attempted to take down the Russian powerhouse, though the attempts were futile as Tumenov stuffed them and continued to stalk his prey. Following several hard shots, Tumenov was able to cut off Lapsley against the cage and began to tee off as his opponent offered little resistance.
After another blistering barrage from Tumenov, Lapsley moved forward to retaliate, but was clipped by a beautifully-placed step-back left hook that planted the 34-year veteran on the canvas, giving Tumenov an impressive walk-off knockout at the 3:56 mark of the very first round. Though Tumenov looked shaky in his Octagon debut, the highly-regarded young talent certainly found his rhythm in his sophomore appearance, looking in control from the onset and thoroughly dominating a tough veteran of 30 professional fights.
If this frightening prospect can continue to ravage opponents like he did on Saturday night, Tumenov’s name could start to appear in the dark horse conversation at 170 pounds. Fellow welterweight wrecking machine Brandon Thatch, who has been out as of late with a torn labrum from his last victory over Paulo Thiago, should be looking to return soon to regain any lost momentum, and a fight with Tumenov could be an epic collision of future contenders.
Thatch’s devastating Muay Thai style against Tumenov’s lethal hands could produce a stand-up battle capable of stealing the show on virtually any card, and though the UFC typically refrains from pairing possible rising stars, this one could be too good to pass up.