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That huge punch that dismantled Ricky Rainey? Muslim Salikhov had a name – and address – for it

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GLENDALE, Ariz. – Remember that brutal right hand that dismantled Ricky Rainey and gave Muslim Salikhov his first UFC win on Saturday?

Will that type of hand brutality sound more or less scary if we tell you it actually has a name?

“We call it ‘Muhammad,’ this punch,” Salikhov told reporters backstage at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., near Phoenix. “It’s my father’s name.”

It turns out Salikhov (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and his coach, Mark Henry, had been working on it specifically for Rainey (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

“We prepared this punch for this opponent,” Salikhov said. “The last two weeks, we worked on this.”

Salikhov followed “Muhammad” up with a few more punches before the referee stepped in, granting him the second-round knockout win in the FOX-televised preliminary card bout.

The Russian welterweight is certainly happy that, after an unsuccessful promotional debut that snapped an 11-fight streak, he’s finally got a UFC win under his belt. He also feels more comfortable in the octagon, five months after a submission loss to Alex Garcia.

But there’s still work to be done.

“I think I’m just finding myself,” Salikhov said. “Because I can (do) much better, I know that.”

The “King of Kung Fu” also wishes he could have done more damage with his legs, and we can imagine why.

“First, I wanted to try to finish with the kicks to the body,” Salikhov said.

But though he did throw a few of his well-known spinning kicks, Salikhov realized Rainey was able to see and react to them properly. So, in the second round, he decided to put the focus on his boxing and start making way for his right hand.

Not that there was anything wrong with the welterweight battle, either. Salikhov says he wasn’t surprised by anything presented by his opponent and that he was able to execute what he had worked on with Henry. And, cearly, it all came together in the end.

He just knows there’s a lot more where that came from.

“(I) hope the next fight will be much better than this,” Salikhov said.

To hear from Salikhov, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 29, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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