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MELBOURNE, Australia – Omari Akhmedov opened an early lead against Kyle Noke and held on to win on points.

Akhmedov (16-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was the steadier presence and picked up a unanimous decision against Noke (22-10-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC), who didn’t appear to be in a hurry to erase his early deficit.

The featherweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 101 event at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Akhmedov, a former training partner of Noke, earned two scores of 29-28 and one 30-27 for his performance, which hinged on an early overhand right that wobbled Noke and sent him into survival mode. After a trip to the mat, Akhmedov pounded away with punches, opening cuts on Noke’s face.

At the start of the middle frame, Noke’s left eye was already in bad shape. And yet, the Aussie seemed content to engage at a sparring pace against his opponent, throwing single kicks and punches and never picking up the pace. Akhmedov, meanwhile, managed to time a punch and put him back on the mat, and before the round was out landed another big overhand right.

Neither fighter got after it in the third round, but a late takedown and modest ground and pound from Akhmedov ended the affair on a positive note.

Akhmedov snaps a two-fight skid while Noke now has lost three straight.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 101 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 101, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Melbourne.)

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