Held controlled the first 10 minutes and was well ahead on the
scorecards at the time of detonation. In fact, two of the three
cageside judges awarded him 10-8s for his work in the middle
stanza. Held struck for repeated takedowns, floated from full guard
and half guard to side control and full mount, made smooth
transitions to the back and fished for chokes. At the start of the
third round, Hazdovic stepped backward, caught Held rolling for a
leg lock and froze him with a front-leg knee to the head for an
Hadzovic was not the only underdog to shine in Sweden. Volkan
Oezdemir (+335) shook up the light heavyweight division with
his stunning finish of Misha
Cirkunov in the co-main event. Cirkunov (-485) bowed to a short
right hook and follow-up punches 28 seconds into the first round,
the momentum of an eight-fight winning streak gone in an instant.
It was the Toronto-based Latvian’s first loss in more than five
years. Now a significant player at 205 pounds, Oezdemir has rattled
off four consecutive victories since he submitted to a Kelly
Anundson neck crank in April 2014.
Meanwhile, the Abdul
Razak Alhassan (-285) ship ran aground in a split decision
defeat to Omari
Akhmedov in a three-round welterweight showcase. Judges Mans
Nilsson and Andy Roberts struck 30-27 marks for Akhmedov (+220),
while Jorgen Segerlind cast a dissenting 29-28 nod for Alhassan.
Akhmedov landed takedowns in all three rounds, six in total, and
outpaced the previously unbeaten prospect by a wide margin in total
strikes. Alhassan had finished each of his first seven opponents
inside one round, five of them in less than a minute.
Arizona Combat Sports middleweight Trevor
Smith made the most of his opportunity as a short-notice
fill-in for Magnus
Cedenblad, cruising to a unanimous decision over Chris
Camozzi on the undercard. Scores were 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26.
Smith (+120) short-circuited “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum
with a grinding clinch, a steady diet of takedowns and suffocating
top control, consolidating his efforts with damaging
ground-and-pound. Camozzi (-150) has lost three fights in a row.