The UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs. Barnett main card is halfway finished, and Ryan Bader delivered a spectacular KO to give the card a much-needed boost after a lackluster preliminary card. Here's how the first two fights played out.
Ryan Bader def. Ilir Latifi via KO (knee) at 2:06 of round 2 - Light Heavyweights
Latifi ducked under for a takedown, which Bader defended and then whiffed on a left hand. High kick by Bader was blocked by Latifi. Another takedown by Latifi was stuffed by the former Arizona State wrestling standout. Hard body kick by Bader to Latifi's body, keeping in mind Latifi has a TKO loss by body kick. Latifi reached on a right and missed badly. Ilir changed levels and Bader again impressively stuffed the takedown. A sharp 1st round for "Darth." Two body shots by Latifi. Ilir charged and landed a right hook that hurt and dropped Bader. Latifi didn't get the finish and Bader appeared to have the cobwebs cleared, but did have something to build on heading into round 2.
Latifi pushed to land his powerful right hand (both men have great KO ability with their respective rights). Bader backed up and avoided taking any major damage. Ryan had a takedown stuffed, with Latifi sprawling into a front headlock and following up with short right hands on the way up. Latifi dodged a Bader right hand and then shook his head.Terrific right from Bader forced Latifi into a clinch, to which Bader threw an elbow as they exited. Latifi ducked into a knee and Bader absolutely destroyed him. Out before he hit the canvas. Superb KO for Bader.
The only action of note in the first 2 minutes was a left hook by Hein. Bang connected with a left hand in a rushing combination. Hein with the takedown at the midway point of the 1st. Some short ground strikes but nothing more from Hein, as the two returned to their feet. Bang scored with a good right hand.
Early exchanges from both men before Hein went for a takedown to open the 2nd. The trip didn't come and they remained clinched up against the fence. Again, very little offense achieved from either fighter, somewhat a recurring theme for UFC Hamburg. Crisp right hand by Bang buzzed Hein a little bit. Nice takedown by Hein but the South Korean sprung back up. Bang with a throw of his own but they went back to striking to close the round.
Hein landed a quality left hand but prior to that there was a clash of heads that opened up a cut above the right eye of Bang. The fight resumed and in an exchange Bang was wobbled with a big left hand. He didn't follow up and try and finish the fight, though. Bang upped the tempo a bit and began to engage a little bit more. Hein got tagged with a left hand but responded with a body kick. The last strike was a right hand by Bang. Disappointing fight in terms of entertainment value.