UFC 204: Wins on return to octagon for Mirsad Bektic and Stefan Struve

The first two fights on the main card were certainly ones not to disappoint. Both Europeans put on a show for the Manchester fans at 0300BST.

UFC 204: Wins on return to octagon for Mirsad Bektic and Stefan Struve
The Skyscraper wins via submission | Photo: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Manchester, England – A return to the octagon for Mirsad Bektic opened the main card at a packed out Manchester Arena whilst Stefan Struve followed up with an impressive victory against Daniel Omielanczuk.

After his win, Bektic stated that he remained focused despite the two opponent changes, but insisted that he “really wanted to enjoy the moment and look out at the crowd.” A moment that he will cherish forever. After his win, Bektic went over to Dana White before telling reporters that he is no longer a prospect in the UFC, but is a serious top 10 contender.

Betkic defeats Doane

After 497 days, Bosnian Mirsad Bektic needed just 4:22 minutes of the first round to beat American Russell Doane via rear-naked choke. Ring rust after his ACL injury? Certainly not.

A fan favourite, Bektic dominated Doane from the off and although a slip could have proved costly, the Bosnian mounted the back of Doane and from then on, it was goodnight – Bektic continued to push for the submission and once his arm got under the neck, Doane had no option but to tap.

Mirsad Bektic wins on his return | Photo: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports
Mirsad Bektic wins on his return | Photo: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Struve defeats Omielanczuk

An explosive start from Daniel Omielanczuk saw the Poland native pass the guard of Struve which caused a problem for the Dutchman in the opening stages but after finding his feet, Struve finally got in his stride.

The first round passed without any significant damage to either fighter, but once Struve had Omielanczuk on the ground, it was always going to be difficult which resulted in Omielanczuk forced to tap following a D’Arce choke. With five submission wins now for Struve, that puts him behind Frank Mir for the most in the UFC.

Credit where it’s due, it was always going to be a tough ask for Omielanczuk, but the English fans got behind him after Struve almost didn’t have a fight for this card following the injury to Ruslan Magomedov.