UFC Stockholm has added more talent at light heavyweight, as Ilir Latifi meets Volkan Oezdemir, and Jimi Manuwa takes on Aleksander Rakic.
The UFC’s return to Sweden is shaping up to be something of a light heavyweight super-show. First reported by ESPN, UFC Stockholm in June is expected to feature a pair of 205lb fights in Ilir Latifi vs. Volkan Oezdemir, and Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakic. Those will join a main event light heavyweight showdown between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith, the two most recent opponents dispatched by Jon Jones.
It’s going to be quite a night for light heavyweight. Sweden’s own Latifi (14–6 (1)) had a two-fight win streak snapped by Corey Anderson at UFC 232 in December. There was little question that, if healthy, ‘The Sledgehammer’ would appear on the UFC Stockholm card. A bout with Volkan Oezdemir (15–4) makes perfect sense, and promises a finish.
Oezdemir’s quick ascent through the light heavyweight ranks has now been matched by his downfall. After going 3-0 to start his career and earning a shot at then-champ Daniel Cormier, Oezdemir has gone 0-3, starting with a TKO loss to D.C. at UFC 220. Most recently, he suffered a questionable split decision defeat against Dominick Reyes at this year’s UFC London event.
Jimi Manuwa (17-5) is also in the precarious 0-3 position across his last three bouts. With his back against the wall, he’ll take on Rakic (11-1), who has not lost since his pro debut. The Austrian-Serb fighter has won three bouts in the UFC to date, most recently finishing Devin Clark at UFC 231.
UFC Stockholm, numerically UFC Fight Night 152, takes place June 1 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
Update – 4/19/2019: Due to a change in UFC broadcast plans, UFC Stockholm is now UFC Fight Night 153/UFC on ESPN+ 11