Volkan Oezdemir of Switzerland reacts to defeating Jimmy Manuwa

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.

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.

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.

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