UFC 267 afforded Magomed Ankalaev an opportunity to break into contendership in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Ankalaev, on a six-fight win streak in the promotion, was paired up with former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir on the Abu Dhabi-based card.
In Oezdemir’s case, “No Time” had already had his time, though he was no doubt eager to turn back the clock. Whether he could slow the momentum of Dagestan’s Ankalaev was the question.
We got our answer following 15 minutes that opened up the UFC 267 main card.
Both men took the center of the octagon after a touch of gloves to start the fight. Ankalaev started with a combo, but nothing really landed. A low kick from Oezdemir landed, followed by a 1-2 that backed Ankalaev up. Oezdemir threw a flying knee that barely missed. Both men clinched, and Oezdemir ate a punch after they broke. Ankalaev landed a 1-2 that dropped Oezdemir. Oezdemir got to his feet and almost ate a high kick. A leaping hook from Oezdemir missed Ankalaev. A straight left hand from Ankalaev landed again on Oezdemir. A front kick from Ankalaev came next, and Oezdemir countered with a punch. A high kick from Oezdemir ended the first round.
My goodness! 😳
👊 What a straight left from @AnkalaevM!
— UFC (@ufc) October 30, 2021
Two hooks from Oezdemir started round two. Both men unload combos that included a knee and hooks. Ankalaev landed a punch that backed Oezdemir up. Oezdemir went high with a kick but nothing came of it. Two calf kicks from Oezdemir followed. Ankalaev landed a right hook that opened a nasty cut over Oezdemir’s left eye. Calf kick from Oezdemir, teep from Ankalaev. Oezdemir landed another low kick that hurt Ankalaev. Ankalaev shot for a takedown and landed it easy. Oezdemir got back to his feet, but Ankalaev put him against the fence. Both guys ended the round in the center of the octagon.
Heading into the third, Oezdemir was going to need to make something happen, almost certainly behind on the scorecards. Round three started with a high kick from Oezdemir, but Ankalaev blocked it. Both men exchanged heavy hooks. Oezdemir shot for a takedown, but Ankalaev stuffed it. Oezdemir threw a lazy low kick and ate kick and punch. With just under 90 seconds left in the fight, Oezdemir ate a nasty body kick. A left hook from Oezdemir doesn’t faze Ankalaev. A right hand from Ankalaev landed on Oezdemir’s chin. The fight ended with Ankalaev putting Oezdemir against the fence.
Another strong showing from Magomed Ankalaev, who claimed his seventh straight win. He looks primed for big things in 2022.
Official Result: Magomed Ankalaev def. Volkan Oezdemir by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)