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Ludovit Klein of Slovakia is seen during his lightweight fight against Jai Herbert of England during the UFC 286 event at The O2 Arena on March 18, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Ludovit Klein: ‘I Know That I’m A Better Fighter’

Lightweight L’udovit Klein Believes He’s In The Best Shape Of His Career Heading Into His UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Font Bout Against Ignacio Bahamondes

After racking up back-to-back wins in his 2022 campaign, Slovakia’s Ludovit Klein faced a series of adversities during his last outing in the Octagon.

At UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman 3, Klein faced England’s own Jai Herbert in the O2 Arena. Heading into the third round with momentum on his side, Herbert landed an illegal groin strike less than a minute into the final frame, forcing a stop in the action.

Once Klein recovered and decided to continue the fight, Hebert landed another illegal groin strike one minute later. This forced yet another break in the action but also caused the referee to deduct a point from Herbert’s round three score.

Ludovit Klein of Slovakia kicks Mason Jones of Wales in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: (L-R) Ludovit Klein of Slovakia kicks Mason Jones of Wales in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on July 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

While Klein still fought hard until the final horn, Herbert won the round on all three scorecards. With the point deduction, the bout was declared a majority draw.

“I think my last fight was not a good performance by me because the decision was a draw,” Klein said. “I know that I’m a better fighter and I believe I can show more in my next fight.”

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There’s plenty of outcomes worse than a draw, but since Klein returned to the lightweight division in March of last year, his performances continued looking better and better, so a draw won’t cut it while Klein continues to showcase his evolution as a mixed martial artist.

Ludovit Klein of Slovakia kicks Devonte Smith in their lightweight fight during the UFC 272 event on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Ludovit Klein of Slovakia kicks Devonte Smith in their lightweight fight during the UFC 272 event on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

At featherweight, Klein felt restricted. Having to diet and deplete his body throughout fight week was physically draining. One aspect of training Klein can’t go without is his strength and conditioning. While he does enjoy the aesthetics of weight training, Klein says he feels so much stronger when it’s in his weekly routine. At 155 pounds, Klein can really put an emphasis on his strength training throughout camp to ensure he feels his best mentally and physically on fight night.

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“[I feel] much better because at featherweight it was hard weight cutting,” Klein said. “In lightweight, I feel strong, I feel better, the weight cut is not bad, and I know I can show better performances in my fights.

“I feel good when I strength train. I have a good [strength and conditioning] coach, I like it and I feel good when I’m in good shape.”

Ludovit Klein of Slovakia reacts after his victory over Devonte Smith in their lightweight fight during the UFC 272 event on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Ludovit Klein of Slovakia reacts after his victory over Devonte Smith in their lightweight fight during the UFC 272 event on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Font, Klein faces Dana White’s Contender Series alumnus Ignacio Bahamondes. The Chilean impressed in the world’s most intense job interview by finishing Contender Series opponent Edson Gomez by front kick in the second round.

After dropping a split decision in his debut, Bahamondes earned a Performance of the Night bonus with another head kick knockout, this time against The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 contestant Roosevelt Roberts. Two more wins later, Bahamondes has proven he’s a dangerous proposition for any lightweight contender.

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The first thing you’ll notice when looking at Saturday’s tale of the tape is the height discrepancy. Klein stands at 5-foot-7 and his opponent Bahamondes is listed at 6-foot-1. While being the shorter athlete does not mean Klein is at an immediate disadvantage, he spent the majority of his training sparring taller athletes and working on footwork to help deal with the size difference.

“I think my movement is better; I did a lot of work on this,” Klein said. “It’s going to be a very important [aspect] of this next fight. My opponent is a good striker. I think I’m a very good striker, too, so it will be a good fight for the fans.”

“I must show what I know, and I know I’m a better fighter than Ignacio Bahamondes. He’s very good. He’s a very tough fighter, but every fighter in the UFC is tough. I prepared very well; I think I’m in the best shape of my career and I believe that I’ll show it in the fight.”

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UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Font took place live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on August 5, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!