This is the UFC Busan live blog for Volkan Oezdemir vs. Aleksandar Rakic, a light heavyweight bout in Saturday’s co-main event at Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea.
Rakic hopes to solidify himself as a contender at 205 with his fifth straight win in a fight against onetime title challenger Oezdemir, who recently bounced back from a three-fight skid.
Check out the UFC Busan live blog below.
Round 1: Two big right hands open the action for Rakic. He forces Oezdemir to the fence and latches onto a guillotine. Oezdemir eventually escapes and reverses position before they disengage. Oezdemir patrols the center of the Octagon, lands a big right hand as Rakic tries to land a leg kick. Oezdemir lands a leg kick on the two-minute mark and continues to command the center of the Octagon. As Oezdemir closes the distance, Rakic lands a few shots of his own. Three minutes in, Rakic attacks a single leg and eventually forces Oezdemir down. Oezdemir gets back to his feet but has his back to the fence, he eats a few sharp shots before they disengage again. With a minute left in the round, Rakic lands an uppercut followed by a straight that slightly rattles Oezdemir. Oezdemir lands two strong leg kicks before the end of the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Rakic.
Round 2: Oezdemir targets the leg of Rakic from the bell, his leg has swollen considerably to the point that it looks like an extra knee. Oezdemir lands a powerful left hook on the minute mark and goes back downstairs to Rakic’s lead leg. Rakic looks for a takedown off another leg kick from Oezdemir, but only manages to force him against the fence. They disengage with two minutes left in the round. Rakic unsuccessfully looks for a takedown off another leg kick. Oezdemir stings Rakic with a shot with a minute left in the round. Rakic lands a leg kick of his own. With 30 seconds left, Oezdemir begins to walk Rakic down with his hands open. Rakic lands a body shot before the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Oezdemir. Overall, 19-19.
Round 3: Oezdemir is moving a lot more freely than Rakic, probably due to the damage to the Austrian’s leg. In the first minute, Rakic seeks out double unders in an effort to take the fight to the ground. Rakic eats a big right hand as the two separate. Oezdemir continues to target the swollen leg as Rakic becomes more and more reliant on his right hand, loading up each time Oezdemir closes the distance. Oezdemir shrugs off another takedown attempt at the midway point of the round. Oezdemir lands a crisp left hand with two minutes left on the clock and again goes back to Rakic’s lead leg with a kick. Rakic forces Oezdemir against the fence and lands a series of shots, but Oezdemir gets out without too much trouble. Oezdemir shuts down another takedown attempt and lands elbows and knees as Rakic stays on a body lock until the final bell rang.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Oezdemir. Overall, 29-28 Oezdemir.
Official result: Volkan Oezdemir def. Aleksandar Rakic via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)