Volkan Oezdemir got a much needed win on Saturday night, and he did it in spectacular fashion.
The former UFC light heavyweight title contender needed less than two rounds to finish Ilir Latifi with a devastating knockout, which put a stop to his recent three-fight losing streak. The end came at 4:31 into the second round after Oezdemir put Latifi down with a huge left hand that planted him face first onto the canvas.
“It feels really good,” Oezdemir said after getting back in the win column. “I worked my way to the title shot in less than a year. Maybe I was a little bit too green but right now I started putting a lot of maturity into work and everything started clicking together right now.”
The battle between top 10 ranked light heavyweights saw Oezdemir showing a lot of confidence in his striking arsenal as he came at Latifi with strong punches and constantly looking to land a knee strike on his shorter opponent.
Oezdemir was patient throughout the opening round but still managed to explode forward including one a jumping knee that clipped Latifi and opened a cut up under his right eye.
There was no hesitation in Oezdemir’s offense while stalking forward with his combinations and forcing Latifi back to the cage wall. Much like the first round, Oezdemir found an opening where he uncorked another huge knee strike and this time Latifi was wobbled before falling to the ground.
Oezdemir followed up with a barrage of strikes but Latifi was able to survive to get back to his feet. The onslaught continued once the fight moved back to the feet with Oezdemir assaulting Latifi from head to toe.
With Latifi obviously hurt, Oezdemir stayed in pursuit until he unleashed a hellacious left hand that was the beginning of the end. The first punch put Latifi down to one knee and Oezdemir followed up with another powerful left that face planted the Swedish “Sledgehammer” as the referee rushed into stop the contest.
⏳ took his time and gets the 2nd round KO! @Volkan_Oezdemir #UFCUruguay pic.twitter.com/nM6u7lhZ4f— UFC (@ufc) August 11, 2019
After a rapid rise up the ranks to start his UFC career, Oezdemir had to face some adversity in his past few fights but he looked better than ever in his win over Latifi.
Now he’s looking to climb back into title contention with a couple of potential names on his hit list including the last fighter to hand him a defeat.
“I want to fight [Jan] Blachowicz or [Dominick] Reyes,” Oezdemir said. “I’ll beat Reyes one more time but this time I’m going to have to put in a performance in the eyes of the judges.”