Kicking off the main card of UFC 267 was a battle between top ten light heavyweight contenders. Former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir (17-5) was tasked with taking on the big favorite and top contender Magomed Ankalaev (15-1).
Entering UFC 267, Oezdemir was just 2-4 in his last six fights. That stretch started with his title shot against Daniel Cormier where he was dominated. One of the wins in that stretch was a controversial split decision win over Aleksandar Rakic.
In the eyes of many, he’s just 1-5 in his last six. Not a great spot to be in when you’re taking on one of the UFC‘s brightest contenders in Magomed Ankalaev. Ankalaev is a monster and he’s slowly making his way up the light heavyweight ranks.
The Russian has won six consecutive fights leading up to UFC 267 after losing his debut in the promotion to Paul Craig. A dominant win over Oezdemir today would like net Ankalaev an opponent inside the top five.
UFC 267 Recap
The UFC 267 main card opener kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Ankalaev circles on the outside as Oezdemir plots forward to start the fight. Good 1-2 from Ankalaev opens up the striking and Oezdemir gets popped with another stiff jab afterwards.
Oezdemir charges in but is met with a clean check right hook. Then Oezdemir lands a nice shot and a big uppercut on Ankalaev. Ankalaev backing up and Oezdemir goes for a flying knee which forces a clinch from the Russian.
Knees to the body from Ankalaev, but Oezdemir is able to circle out and break. Good 1-2 lands for Oezdemir and he ends with a nice leg kick. Kick to the body lands for Ankalaev. Ankalaev lands a straight left that sits Oezdemir down briefly.
Oezdemir bounces right back up but he still looks a little wobbly. Nice jab lands for Ankalaev. Lunging right doesn’t come close for Oezdemir and Ankalaev counters with a jab. Beautiful 1-2 lands for Ankalaev. Ankalaev is now the one pressing forward at UFC 267.
Oezdemir circling on the outside and he’s popped with a couple of jabs. Nice body kick from Oezdemir. Oezdemir steps in but eats a big combination from Ankalaev. The first round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Ankalaev at UFC 267.
Oezdemir needs to get some respect back from Ankalaev as we enter the second at UFC 267. Ankalaev takes the center to start the second. Oezdemir presses forward into a clinch but eats a big knee to the body. Huge straight left from Ankalaev finds it’s home.
Nice calf kick lands for Oezdemir. Ankalaev steps in with a clean combination and Oezdemir just evades the last big power shot. Another big calf kick from Oezdemir. Oezdemir steps in and gets clipped with a nasty right hook from Ankalaev that immediately opens a cut.
Jab lands for Ankalaev who is moving forward like a fighter who smells blood. Oezdemir circling on the outside looking for an opening. Oezdemir plots forward but isn’t finding a home for anything big. Nice counter lands for Ankalaev.
Big calf kick again from Oezdemir and that one got the attention of Ankalaev. Ankalaev immediately shoots for and lands a takedown after that calf kick. Big shot lands for Ankalaev on the break and the round comes to a close. 2-0 Ankalaev at UFC 267.
Entering the final round at UFC 267 and Oezdemir is going to need a finish to get the win. Oezdemir takes the center to start the final round and eats a jab from Ankalaev to start the final round. Head kick attempt misses from Oezdemir.
Ankalaev pressing forward looking for his opening. Huge combination lands for Ankalaev but Oezdemir eats it with no issue. Oezdemir shockingly shoots for a takedown and Ankalaev immediately brushes him off.
Nice check right hook lands for Ankalaev. Ankalaev presses forward and lands a clean combination where he finishes with a head kick. Another clean left counter lands for Ankalaev as Oezdemir tries to press forward. Jab from Ankalaev who has really pulled away in this one.
Another beautiful left followed by a nice combination from Ankalaev. Oezdemir is looking hurt with just over a minute left as he circles on the outside. No urgency from Oezdemir here as Ankalaev keeps picking him apart from the outside.
Oezdemir tries pressing forward but eats another combination from Ankalaev. Ankalaev with a nice body kick. Oezdemir throws a body kick back. The fight comes to a close and Ankalaev just pitched a shutout at UFC 267.
Magomed Ankalaev def. Volkan Oezdemir by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)