BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Ali Bagautinov looked great early, then nearly made everyone forget about it while waiting out his moment. Then he took advantage in the third, and did so in a big way.

Bagautinov nearly finished Vinicius in the first, but the Brazilian survived. But in the third, the Russian drilled the Brazilian down the middle with a right hand, then finished him on the ground for the night’s first knockout.

The flyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 28 event at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and Facebook.

Bagautinov stalked Vinicius and backed him up early, then pressed forward 50 seconds in with a good combination that forced Vinicius to tie things up on the fence. After a brief stalemate, Bagautinov went after a single-leg takedown, and when that wasn’t happening, he went to work.

He dropped Vinicius with a left hand, then kept him from scrambling back to safety as he rained punches down on him. He tried to mount while still dropping the punches, and when Vinicius turned, Bagautinov grabbed his neck and hoped to finish with a guillotine choke.

But Vinicius worked his way out of it and survived the Russian’s barrage. Bagautinov gave his back in the process, and he then had to survive. Vinicius even landed a takedown to close out the round, a big comeback from the onslaught he endured early in the fight.

In the second, Bagautinov continued to come forward with kicking and punching combinations, then 90 seconds in took the fight to the canvas. Vinicius worked his way to the feet, but Bagautinov put him right back on his back. Vinicius wanted an omoplata off his back, but he had to bail and work for elbows – landing more on his back than Bagautinov was able to do from up top. Back on the feet, Bagautinov couldn’t put Vinicius in much trouble the rest of the way, but did land a takedown as the horn sounded.

In the third, a patient Bagautinov seemed to just be looking for an opening. Then he found it. A right hand dropped Vinicius, slipping right through his hands. And from there, Bagautinov drilled the Brazilian with four bombs on the floor to get the stoppage with 92 seconds left in the fight.

“It didn’t start off very well,” Bagautinov said. “I only started warming up in the second round. What I wanted to get done in the first round only came to life later in the fight.”

“We thought his whole game would be to attack, but he fought more in the center,” Vinicius said. “He was very steady. I just couldn’t get his timing right. God honored him with this win, and I’ll come back stronger next time.”

Bagautinov (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won his UFC debut and ran his winning streak to nine fights. Vinicius (20-5-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who had dropped to flyweight from bantamweight, lost for the second straight time following a knockout loss to Johnny Bedford in December.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 28 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 28, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Belo Horizonte.

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