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Rakic makes history among prelim bouts in Hamburg

Read on for UFC Hamburg prelim results...

By Split Decision!@DamirHadzo #UFCHamburg

— UFC (@ufc) July 22, 2018


Hard-hitting lightweight Damir Hadzovic evened his UFC slate at 2-2 at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, as he defeated Germany’s own Nick Hein via split decision on Sunday.

Hadzovic was able to keep Hein from implementing his grappling attack in the first round, and the result was Hein ending up bloodied from the patient and steady striking of the Bosnia native. Hein did close the gap in the second, with a busy attack seemingly drawing him even with Hadzovic. But in the third, Hadzovic closed strong, stunning Hein with a kick early and then scoring a flash knockdown with a right hand midway through the final stanza, securing his victory via scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29.

Hadzovic moves to 12-4 with the win; Hein falls to 14-4 with 1 NC.


In his first start since November 2015, Poland’s Bartosz Fabinski remained unbeaten in the Octagon, as he picked up his third UFC victory via unanimous decision over Norways’ Emil Meek.

Meek flew out of his corner at the start, but a flying knee attempt led to a Fabinski takedown, putting the fight right in the Warsaw product’s wheelhouse, and Fabinski kept it on the mat until the horn. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was effective.

Fabinski put the fight back on the mat in round two, but this time Meek was able to get back to his feet and get some hard shots off before another takedown from the Poland native at the midway point of the frame put the bout on the ground until the horn.

Fatigue had set in on Fabinski as round three began, and Meek, sensing his chance to turn things around, went on the offensive, putting Fabinski on the run. “The Butcher” looked for a takedown but nearly got caught in a choke. After escaping, referee Kevin Sataki separated the two, but Fabinski was finally able to get another takedown when the action resumed. And while the crowd wasn’t happy about it, Fabinski will take the win, which he got via scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.


England’s Nad Narimani turned back Germany’s Khalid Taha in a clash of newcomers to the UFC’s featherweight division, winning a three-round unanimous decision.

Takedowns and grappling control gave Narimani (11-2) the lead in the fight, and he kept it through two rounds, despite a spirited effort from Taha (12-2). And while some good shots from Taha started the final frame strong, a follow-up kick led to another takedown from Narimani. Taha found some daylight in the final minute as he got back to his feet, but it was too little too late for the Dortmund product, who dropped the nod to Narimani via three scores of 30-27.


Aleksandar Rakic spoiled the light heavyweight debut of Justin Ledet, shutting out the previously unbeaten heavyweight prospect by a lopsided unanimous decision.

Scores were 30-25 and 30-24 twice.

A new record!

Aleksandar Rakic sets the LHW record for strike differential in a single fight at +235 (263 to 28)! #UFCHamburg

— UFC (@ufc) July 22, 2018

Leg kicks were the weapon of choice for Rakic in the early going, but a minute in, the Austrian added a takedown to his fight night repertoire, and for the rest of the first frame it was a ground-and-pound clinic from Rakic.

Ledet came out fast for round two, but Rakic’s counters hit their mark, and in the second minute, a leg kick put the Texan on the mat, allowing Rakic to work his ground game again, and it was yet another dominant effort from Rakic, who took a big lead into the final round.

A right hand floored Ledet in the opening 30 seconds of the final round, and it was time for Rakic to get back down to business on the mat. And while he didn’t get the finish, it was a complete and dominant performance from Vienna’s Rakic, who improves to 10-1. Ledet falls to 9-1 with 1 NC.


Massachusetts’ up and comer Manny Bermudez continued to impress in bantamweight action, as he improved to 13-0 with a first-round submission of England’s Davey Grant.

A right hand by Bermudez put Grant (10-4) on the deck 20 seconds into the fight, and Bermudez immediately went to work for the submission, and he got it, with a triangle choke ending the fight at :59 of round one.

WHAT. A. SEQUENCE.@_MannyBermudez drops Grant with a right hand, then shows off his SLICK submission skills to put him away. WOW! #UFCHamburg

— UFC (@ufc) July 22, 2018


Serbian light heavyweight newcomer Darko Stosic made quick work of Jeremy Kimball, stopping the Coloradan in the first round.

After the two tried to find their range on the feet with little success in the first three minutes, Kimball shot in for a takedown but Stosic defended well and turned the takedown into his favor as they hit the mat. From there, Stosic opened up with strikes and ended the fight quickly, with referee Rich Mitchell stepping in at the 3:13 mark of round one.

With the win, his ninth in a row, Stosic moves to 13-1. Kimball falls to 15-8.


Chinese bantamweight Liu Pinguyan got his UFC career off to a good start, extending his current winning streak to eight with a three-round unanimous decision victory over Damian Stasiak.

Liu (12-5) got off to a fast start, but as the first round progressed, Stasiak (10-6) was able to implement his grappling game and slow the fight and Liu down.

A spinning backfist in the opening minute of the second round staggered Stasiak, but the Poland native again went to his grappling attack to turn things back in his favor. Liu did adjust well, though, nearly locking in two guillotine choke attempts. But after escaping, Stasiak controlled matters from the top position, finishing the round strong behind a ground-and-pound strategy.

The third was largely fought on the feet, with both fighters getting their shots in, and despite a quick takedown by Stasiak to start the round, the fight went to Liu via scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.