What a fight! An all European affair at #UFCBusan!
@Volkan_Oezdemir vs @Rakic_UFC pic.twitter.com/UQH3bn8bT0 — UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 20, 2019
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has added a major light heavyweight battle to the promotion's first trip to Busan, South Korea.
On Friday, the promotion announced that Volkan Oezdemir (16-4) will be taking on the surging Aleksandar Rakic (12-1) at UFC Fight Night 165. The event will be held at the Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea, on Dec. 21. The story was first reported by Korean MMA News, who also posted a matchup image of Alexandre Pantoja vs. Matt Schnell at flyweight. The latter was announced weeks before, based on a report from Combate.
Oezdemir rebounded from a three-fight skid -- the longest in his career -- by dispatching Ilir Latifi in the second round at UFC Fight Night 156 in August. Sporting a finish rate of 81 percent, the Swiss fighter vaulted into title contention in 2017 with three impressive wins over Ovince St. Preux, Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. Among those wins, both he and Rakic share 42-second knockout victories over Manuwa.
Since losing his professional debut in 2011, Rakic has not tasted defeat, and holds an even more impressive stoppage rate of 83 percent. After making his successful promotional debut by beating Francimar Barroso on the scorecards, Rakic went on to have a career-defining performance by dominating Justin Ledet and outlanding the American by almost 240 significant strikes. Since that drubbing, Rakic knocked out Devin Clark in the first round, and most recently, crushed Manuwa with a head kick in a sure-fire "Knockout of the Year" contender.
UFC Fight Night 165 will take place on Dec. 21 at the Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea. The headliner has not yet been announced.