The co-main event of UFC Busan was a tight contest, with Volkan Oezdemir utilizing leg kicks to earn a split decision over Aleksander Rakic.
Volkan Oezdemir made his presence felt quickly in the UFC. After defeating Ovince Saint Preux in his promotional debut on short notice, “No Time” knocked out Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in a combined 50 seconds. The meteoric rise earned him a title shot against Daniel Cormier, who defeated him in a solid contest. Oezdemir ended up falling to top contenders Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes (controversially in the latter), before putting on a great performance against Ilir Latifi most recently.
Aleksander Rakic seems to be a light heavyweight of the future. He entered the UFC at 8-1 and defeated Francimar Barroso and Justin Ledet unceremoniously before really becoming one to watch. A spinning backfist KO against Devin Clark and a huge head kick knockout over Jimi Manuwa put him on the map.
Rakic went out and landed an early left hand. He followed with two more hooks and a flying knee then tried to wrap up a standing guillotine on a charging Oezdemir. Oezdemir escaped then ate a body kick and a hook while landing a left hand. A straight connected for Rakic as he smoothly got out of the way of Oezdemir’s shot. Rakic went in for a single leg and swept out Oezdemir’s plant leg to take the fight to the mat. Oezdemir was on all fours, but didn’t spend much time there, as he returned to his feet. A slick combination landed for Rakic. Oezdemir went for a flying knee in the waning seconds off the round, but came up short.
A short left hand connected for Rakic to start the second round. Throughout the first round, Oezdemir was landing leg kicks, and a massive welt had formed under the knee of Rakic. He started the second round with a healthy diet of low kicks, and Rakic’s offense had slowed down. Rakic went for a takedown and the fight ended up on the cage. Oezdemir ate a right hand on the exit. Rakic caught a leg kick, but couldn’t turn it into a takedown. Oezdemir went in for a body shot, then clapped his hands together in the face of Rakic. The round closed soon after.
Punches flew to start the third round from both sides. Oezdemir backed Rakic to the fence, but ate a trio of punches on the counter before Rakic pushed him against the cage. Both men landed on the exit. Oezdemir connected with another leg kick, then an uppercut came through for Rakic. Left hands up top then to the body landed for Oezdemir. Rakic pushed through the leg kicks to push Oezdemir against the fence. Oezdemir continuously threw short shots and the round came to a close.
After Oezdemir earned the split decision, he called out both men who defeated him in the UFC, Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes.
Volkan Oezdemir def. Aleksander Rakic by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)