Tarec Saffiedine was a star in Strikeforce, but when he came over to the UFC, his shine lost some luster, the result of some losses and some injuries that have kept him sidelined for much of his career. Dong Hyun Kim has made the most of his time in the Octagon though, and while he’s fallen short against some of the best, he’s a proven ass-kicker. And now they’re fighting!
Kim comes out trying to put his judo black belt to use and Saffiedine trips him to the canvas, as if to say “Team Quest rules, mofo!” They stand and Kim does score a throw, but they’re back up again and throwing leather, the South Korean landing from outside and Saffiedine cracking him with counters when Kim leans in. They switch back and forth from wrestling to striking, and in the closing seconds of the round Saffiedine again nails that trip.
Round 2 opens with Kim aggressive and trying to push the pace, but he’s sloppy with his strikes and lumbering forward. This enables Saffiedine to tag him here and there, although the relentless pressure takes its toll and soon the former Strikeforce champ is moving slower and slower. The man-hugging increases, and that, coupled with the sloppy punching and pauses, has the crowd booing by the end of the frame.
They flurry hard when the third rounds commences, banging each other up nicely with kicks and punches. But Kim’s forward pressure switches from striking to grappling, and Saffiedine has proven adept at stymieing his judo. Kim manages to get his opponent down, Saffiedine pops up, and the crowd goes back to booing. Thankfully, time runs out.
Results: Dong Hyun Kim def. Tarec Saffiedine via Split Decision