clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night 93 results from last night: Ryan Bader vs Ilir Latifi fight review, analysis

MMA: UFC 192-Bader vs Evans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight wrestlers Ryan Bader and Ilir Latifi collided last night (Sept. 3, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 93 inside Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

In the last couple years, Bader showed some serious progression and put on the best performances of his career. While his climb to the top came to a horrendous halt opposite Anthony Johnson last time out, Bader was looking to regain some momentum here. Meanwhile, Latifi has looked better than ever. No longer known as the short-notice sacrifice to Gegard Mousasi’s jabs, Latifi has established himself as a dangerous knockout artist with some great grappling.

Bader worked to establish his jab early, controlling the center of the Octagon and maintaining range. For much of the round, Bader did a nice job of avoiding his opponent’s single shots, landing long punches and some hard kicks. Latifi mostly tried to time Bader, either leaping forward or attacking with single shot counter punches. It didn’t work all that well, but Latifi did crack Bader hard with just about 10 seconds left in the round.

"Darth" recovered well, but it made things close.

Latifi continued his aggressive attack into the second round, gaining top position in a scramble and landing some hard shots as Bader worked up. On the whole, Bader may have been landing a bit more consistently, but Latifi’s shots definitely had the bigger impact.

Until the finish.

Throughout the fight, it was clear that Bader was trying to time Latifi’s level changes, as the Swede repeatedly ducked down when Bader closed range. Halfway through the second, he finally capitalized, showing punches and stepping into a high kick.

His knee ended up connecting clean, and Latifi crumbled to the mat in dramatic fashion.

This was both a hard-fought victory and strong performance from Bader. Latifi has developed into a rather dangerous fighter, and his style really tested Bader’s ability to maintain distance and avoid power shots.

He didn’t do a perfect job, but it was still a damn fine showing from a fighter whose chin used to be far easier to find.

Bader did a nice job of sticking to his game plan and making Latifi trade long distance strikes. In many of the exchanges, Latifi’s loaded up power punches came up quite short, whereas Bader landed damaging jabs and kicks.

The final sequence really shows Bader’s evolution as a striker. He’s come a long way from the man with just a big, awkward right hand, even if he has faltered against the division’s best.

A match up with the co-main event winner makes sense.

As for Latifi, he’s also improved quite a bit in his UFC stretch. He’s legitimately a top 15 fighter, which is nothing to scoff at for a fighter who was signed solely due to his training partner’s injury.

Unfortunately, Latifi’s problem still remains. He doesn’t have many tools from distance — he whiffed repeatedly on his low kick attempts — and that forces him to lunge in to make up for it. That’s tiring, and Latifi was definitely taking some deep breathes before he ducked into the kick.

Moving forward, Latifi will have to earn a couple more wins before getting another opportunity like this. Luckily, fighters like Patrick Cummins and Nikita Krylov — who also are hanging out just around the No. 10 spot — need opponents, and Latifi is a dangerous foe for either.

Last night, Ryan Bader knocked out Ilir Latifi in highlight reel-worthy fashion. Can Bader put it all together and become a title contender?

For complete UFC Fight Night 93 "Arlovski vs Barnett" results and play-by-play, click HERE!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania