Swiss light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir is ranked seventh despite dropping his last three fights. His next opponent, Ilir Latifi is coming off a loss himself and is ranked No. 9. Expect both fighters to come out firing on all cylinders to make sure they get back on the win column. Read about some of their career-defining numbers before they share the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 156 in Uruguay.
UFC appearancesOezdemir entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Feb. 4, 2017, mixing it up with Ovince St. Preux and winning via split decision at UFC Fight Night 104. He followed it up with two more victories before losing three straight to register an Octagon record of 3-3.
Unlike Oezdemir, Latifi started his UFC career with a loss at UFC on Fuel TV 9 held on April 6, 2013. He bowed to Gegard Mousasi, who was also debuting in the Octagon at the time. So far, he has gathered seven wins and four losses in 11 UFC appearances.
The fight between Oezdemir and St. Preux was a competitive one.
That time, “OSP” was ranked No. 6 in the division, and Oezdemir’s
impressive showing readily put his name in the light heavyweight
map. He outpointed the Knoxville MMA representative 82-76 to earn a
split decision win.
Preux (significant strikes landed)
Latifi didn’t meet St. Preux until his 10th UFC fight. “The Sledgehammer” did better than Oezdemir, outstriking “OSP” to the tune of 25-7 before submitting him via guillotine choke at 3:48 of the first round.
Longest winning streakOezdemir started his career with 10 consecutive wins, which spanned from his debut on Sept. 4, 2010 to his maiden Bellator bout on Oct. 25, 2013. This impressive run came to a halt when he tapped to Kelly Anundson’s neck crank at Bellator 115.
Latifi lacks the consistency delivered by Oezdemir, but he’s piled up a three-fight winning streak three times in his career. His most recent one was in the UFC, where he defeated Hans Stringer, Sean O'Connell and Gian Villante one after the other.
Longest losing skidLatifi has never experienced back-to-back defeats in his entire career whereas Oezdemir is currently on a three-fight skid. After his loss to Anundson, “No Time” gathered five straight wins before losing to Daniel Cormier, Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes in succession.
Wins by knockoutOezdemir makes great use of his range as evidenced by his 11 triumphs via KO or TKO. His victims include Jimi Manuwa, Misha Cirkunov, Paco Estevez, Josh Lanier, David Round, Angelier Benjamin, Benyaich Mohamed, Mohamed Amidi, Bruno Farias Grancheux, Ronilson Santos and Marin Vath.
As for Latifi, there’s a reason why he is called “The Sledgehammer.” Make that six reasons, which correspond to his KO or TKO victims, namely Sean O’Connell, Hans Stringer, Chris Dempsey, Matteo Minonzio, Luis Pinho and Roman Mihocka.