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Gustafsson mauls Blachowicz; Bader, Hein win

Read on for Fight Night Hamburg main card results...
GUSTAFSSON vs BLACHOWICZ



Back in the Octagon for the first time since his October 2015 loss to Daniel Cormier, elite light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson got a fight out of Poland’s Jan Blachowicz before emerging with a three-round unanimous decision win in the Fight Night Hamburg co-main event at Barclaycard Arena on Saturday.

Blachowicz was not intimidated by his opponent or the moment, marking up Gustafsson’s face with his strikes early as he confidently attacked. Gustafsson adjusted well though, as he put Blachowicz on his back in the final two minutes, allowing him to take control of the action.

After some solid standup exchanges to begin round two, Gustafsson got another takedown, and he began to fire off hard elbows to the head, cutting Blachowicz and putting an early stamp on a one-sided round for “The Mauler.”

The pattern continued for much of round three, with Blachowicz having success standing until Gustafsson took the bout to the mat and showed off his ground-and-pound game, and that ultimately was the deciding factor for Stockholm’s Gustafsson, who won via identical scores of 30-27.

Gustafsson moves to 17-4 with the win; Warsaw’s Blachowicz falls to 19-6.

More from Fight Night Hamburg: Results | Postfight bonuses | Barnett submits Arlovski in Hamburg main event | Gustafsson mauls Blachowicz; Bader, Hein win | Ayari wins debut; Sobotta, Evans-Smith get impressive victories | Backstage interviews: Ashlee Evans-Smith | Octagon interviews: Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski, Alexander Gustafsson | Best images from Fight Night | Replay all the fights on UFC FIGHT PASS

BADER vs LATIFI



Veteran light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader rebounded impressively from his January loss to Anthony Johnson, scoring a walk off second-round knockout of Sweden’s Ilir Latifi.

Arizona’s Bader looked good in the opening round, his striking and movement strong as he also tossed aside any takedown attempts. But in the closing minute, Latifi dropped Bader with a right hand, changing things around immediately. Bader shook off the blow and got back to his feet, but Latifi’s increased confidence was evident.

After landing a couple right hands to open the second, Bader’s first takedown attempt was turned away. Bader kept the pressure on though, and as the two engaged, Bader landed a flush right knee to the head, sending Latifi down and out as Bader walked off. The official time of referee Neil Hall’s stoppage was 2:06.

With the win, the No. 4-ranked Bader ups his record to 22-5; the No. 12-ranked Latifi falls to 13-5 with 1 NC.

HEIN vs BANG



Cologne’s Nick Hein gave his home country fans something to cheer about in his lightweight bout against South Korea’s Tae Hyun Bang, winning a three-round unanimous decision in the main card opener.

The judges saw it 30-28, 30-27 and 29-28.

The action was slow in the opening frame, both fighters having their moments. That meant that a takedown by Hein midway through might have been the deciding factor on the scorecards.

The pace picked up slightly in round two, and while it looked like Hein would pull ahead thanks to takedown for a second time, Bang answered with a late throw, again giving the judges a difficult task. In the third, it was still a war of nerves, but Hein did land the biggest shot of the night, as he briefly staggered Bang with a left with a little over three minutes remaining.

With the win, Hein moves to 14-2 with 1 NC; Bang falls to 18-10.

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