The UFC goes to South Korea for the second time with UFC Busan. The event has now had its first two bouts revealed and they’re good ones.
Deiveson Figueiredo and Valentina Shevchenko defend their titles tonight! Watch PPV main card -- LIVE HERE -- starting from 10 pm ET.
The UFC announced on Thursday via Spotv News that top UFC light heavyweights will collide as Volkan Oezdemir (16-4) takes on Aleksandar Rakic (12-1). Along with that bout, flyweights meet when Alexandre Pantoja (21-4) and Matt Schnell (14-4) do battle. The event takes place on December 21.
The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko has since reported that neither of these fights will be the main event.
Breaking New! Volkan Oezdemir vs Aleksandar Rakic, Alexandre Pantoja vs Matt Schnell at UFC Fight Night 165 In Busan Korea! Dec. 21st. pic.twitter.com/s0fMLn9PLO
— Korean MMA News (@korean_mma) September 19, 2019
For Austria’s Rakic, he’s riding quite the wave of momentum as he hasn’t lost since his MMA debut in 2011. He’s been impressively dominant in his four UFC bouts to this point with his most recent coming via a 47-second head kick knockout of Jimmy Manuwa.
His next opponent in Switzerland’s former title challenger, Oezdemir, also has familiarity with Manuwa. “No Time” dispatched of the Brit in just 42 seconds to earn his title shot in July 2017. Since then, he’s gone 1-3 but just recently snapped his losing streak by earning a second-round knockout of Ilir Latifi at UFC Uruguay.
At 125-pounds, Matt Schnell has really turned a new leaf as he’s won four straight since dropping his first two UFC bouts. His last two victories were both picked up via triangle chokes.
However, standing in his way will be his toughest test to date in Brazil’s Pantoja. The Ultimate Fighter 24 alum has also come into his own as of late. After a blemish handed to him from the highly skilled Deiveson Figueiredo, the former RFA champion should be highly motivated to get back to his winning ways.
UFC Busan marks the first event in South Korea since Jorge Masvidal and former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, headlined in 2015 in Seoul.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at: "Drake Riggs" where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.