Veterans Dong Hyun Kim and Tarec Saffiedine were the only welterweights on the UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey main card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was Kim’s first fight in over a year, whereas Saffiedine was seeking a win after a loss to Rick Story in May.
Surprisingly, it was Saffiedine with the trip takedown of Kim, but Kim judo threw him seconds later. Saffiedine recovered nicely and got back to his feet. When they engaged in striking battles, Saffiedine was popping Stun Gun with quality punches, and he seldom threw kicks. Tarec was sharp with his hands and catching Kim frequently on the counter.
With Kim at a technical disadvantage, he resorted to a spinning elbow to try and catch Saffiedine, but Tarec was unfazed and the strike didn’t land flush. The South Korean was more aggressive in the 2nd but not really definitively outlanding Saffiedine in most of the exchanges. The Belgian showed exemplary takedown defense on the judoka.
There was more action in the first 25 seconds of round 3 than there was in all of round 2. Kim scored with an uppercut, Saffiedine answered back with a right hook and a head kick, then Kim pushed for a takedown against the fence. Tarec defended brilliantly and he elbowed Kim on the exit. Kim tripped Saffiedine down but Tarec got straight back to his feet and hammered home two body kicks and a knee to the body. With 1 minute left in the 3rd, Saffiedine shot for a takedown but Kim sprawled successfully. Kim took Saffiedine’s back for a split second, lost it, but wound up on top in the closing stages to end a mostly dreadful fight.
Official result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Tarec Saffiedine by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)