Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight contenders Misha Cirkunov and Volkan Oezdemir collided yesterday (May 28, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 109 inside Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
For complete UFC “Stockholm” results and play-by-play click here.
Cirkunov is the first new face to really impress at 205 lbs. in years. In the lead up to this fight, Cirkunov carved through four straight foes, showcasing a well-rounded game that pushed him into the top 10.
Oezdemir’s position as number five in the division after just a single UFC fight is pretty bizarre — and indicative of the state of Light Heavyweight — but he did impress in his short-notice call up. If he could keep the ball rolling opposite Cirkunov, Oezdemir would not be far off from a title shot.
The two contenders wasted little time in exchanging. Cirkunov opened with a big kick to the body, but Oezdemir fired back, and the two traded hard hooks. Cirkunov began to alternate between his left body kick and left cross, while Oezdemir was active in hunting for punches of his own.
About 20 seconds in, the finishing sequence began.
Cirkunov pushed forward with a big combination, firing left hands and driving his opponent into the fence. His punches landed cleanly, and Cirkunov appeared to be in good position to transition into his takedown game, but Oezdemir cut an angle. From the side, Oezdemir landed a short right hand directly behind his opponent’s ear, which sent Cirkunov falling face-first to the mat.
It was a small punch, but the positioning was perfect.
There’s not much to analyze technically. Both men were trading and landing, but Cirkunov was generally the aggressor. Just as he got into his best position to attack with grappling, Oezdemir’s footwork instead allowed him to land a devastating counter punch.
It lasted less than a minute.
With this win, Oezdemir is suddenly a top contender, perhaps more worthy than anyone else at 205 lbs. He’s now defeated a pair of top 10 fighters, and this was a stellar knockout. Following this win, he should square off with Jimi Manuwa, another streaking contender with knockout power.
Like it or not, Oezdemir is looking like the real deal.
Meanwhile, Cirkunov is in the unenviable position of waking up and having to figure out what went wrong. He was kickboxing well and moving the fight where he wanted it to go, but instead his lights were shut off in an instant.
MMA is unforgiving.
Following the loss, Cirkunov is still a top contender. He’ll have to take some time to recover, but a match up with Ovince St. Preux upon his return would make plenty of sense.
At UFC Fight Night 109, Volkan Oezdemir announced himself as a true contender with a quick knockout win. Who should he face off with next?
For complete UFC Fight Night 109 “Gustafsson vs Teixeira” results and play-by-play, click HERE!