Happy Memorial Day Weekend Fight Fans!
The UFC returns today with a special Sunday morning edition, LIVE from Stockholm, Sweden. In fact, this is the first of four consecutive UFC cards that will take place overseas.
5/28 · UFC Fight Night 109 Stockholm, Sweden: Teixeira vs. Gustafsson LIVE on FS1
6/03 · UFC 212: Aldo vs Holloway from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil LIVE on PPV
6/10 · UFC Fight Night 110 Auckland, New Zealand : Lewis vs Hunt LIVE on FS1
6/17 · UFC Fight Night 111 Kallang, Singapore: Holm vs Correia LIVE on UFC Fight Pass
UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Gustafsson kicks off at 10am EST with (2) UFC Fight Pass exclusive preliminary bouts. Coverage for the prelims (11am) and the six-fight main card (1pm) will air on FoxSports1!!
Main Card (1pm EST on FS1)
Alex Nicholson (+145) vs. Jack Hermansson (-170)
After almost having his head squeezed off his neck (and breaking his jaw) by Misha Cirkunov in February 2016, Alex Nicholson (7-3-0) opens up the main card against Jack Hermansson (14-3-0). Nicholson has bounced back with a knockout win and decision loss in the past year since his loss and injury against Cirkunov. “The Spartan” looks like he is once again ready for battle, talking smack to Hermansson and getting in his face at the weigh-ins. Hermansson will be looking to use Nicholson’s over aggression against him, and wrestle his way to a victory.
Crystal Ball Prediction: Hermansson via Decision
Oliver Enkamp (+310) vs. Nordine Taleb (-400)
Nordine Taleb (11-4-0) was originally scheduled to face off against Emil Meek, who was forced to withdraw due to injury. Stepping in on short notice and making his UFC debut is Swedish MMA prospect Oliver Enkamp (7-0-0) Oliver “the Future” Enkamp has four submission wins to his credit and will be looking for the upset against the Frenchman. Taleb has alternated wins and losses in his last four fights, dropping a decision to Santiago Ponzinibio in February 2017.
Crystal ball prediction: Enkamp via Second Round Submission
Omari Akhmedov(+190) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (-230)
After winning a performance of the night bonus in his octagon debut, Alhassan (7-0-0) returns to action with a step up in competition against Omari Akhmedov (16-4-0). Alhassan was able to stop Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 99 in the very first minute of their fight, connecting with some huge looping right hands before the ref stepped in. Akhmedov earned a decision versus Kyle Noke in his last fight, but was stopped via Punches in his last two preceding fights. I think Alhassan will overwhelm Akhmedov and get another early stoppage
Crystal ball prediction: Alhassan via First Round KO
Ben Saunders (+100) vs. Peter Sobotta (-120)
“Killa B” Ben Saunders (21-7-2) brings a two fight win streak into the cage against Peter Sobotta (16-5-1). Sobotta has won three of his last four fights, but will have to make sure he manages to stay out of the slick grip of Saunders on the ground. Training with Eddie Bravo, Killa B is very active on his back and is always a threat to his opponent with a variety of submissions.
Crystal ball prediction: Saunders via First Round Submission
#7 Misha Cirkunov (-450) vs.#5 Volkan Oezdemir (+325)
With Anthony Johnson’s recent decision to retire (and become a cannabis entrepreneur), the vacancy has created a vacuum of opportunity for the two fighters in the Co-Main event. Recently resigned, Misha Cirkunov (13-2-0) will take on Volkan Oezdemir (13-1-0) in a clash of rising stars in the light heavyweight division. Cirkunov is freakishly strong, and has used his strength to go 4-0 in the UFC, with all of his fights ending in a stoppage (3 submission, 1 KO) Volkan Oezdemir made his octagon debut against Ovince Saint Prieux at UFC Fight Night 104 and was very impressive, earning a unanimous decision victory. The former Bellator product will be a tough test for Cirkunov, and I think Oezdemir has a much greater chance than the odds makers believe.
Crystal ball prediction: Oezdemir via Decision
#1 Alexander Gustafssoin (-300) vs. #2 Glover Teixiera (+240)
In a very important fight in the 205lb division, Alexander Gustafsson (17-4-0) returns home to Sweden to face a very game opponent in Glover Teixiera (26-5-0). Both of these guys know what is on the line here, as the winner will most likely face the winner of DC-Jones 2 later this year. Both of these guys went the distance with Jon Jones. Gustafsson in the controversial classic at UFC 165. Teixiera took a beating from Bones Jones, getting split with some nasty elbows inside the clinch. Glover was tough enough to go five rounds, and actually only been knocked out once in the past 15 years!! Glover was knocked out in brutal fashion by Rumble Johnson last August, but silenced rising prospect Jarod Cannonier at UFC 208 in his last fight. Alexander Gustafsson knows all too well bout being knocked out by Anthony Johnson, it even happened on his home turf the last time he headlined in Stockholm, so Gus will have that in the back of his head as well as the added pressure to please the home crowd. The odds on this fight surprise me. There certainly is value with Glover yielding this high of a return. Tex once won 20 MMA fights in a row! With his only losses in the UFC coming against the aforementioned Jon Jones (via decision), Rumble Johnson (KO) and Phil Davis (via decision), Glover is definitely worthy of his number two ranking in the light heavyweight division and should be a very tough challenge for the Mauler. Following his five round war with Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson returned to the octagon and won a unanimous decision versus Jan Blachowicz in his last fight. Alex has also been on the mend recovering from back issues. With that being said, there is no doubt that Gustafsson is ready to go and will be seeking some redemption here in Sweden. I believe it will be key for Gustafsson to avoid getting lazy on his feet and leaving himself susceptible to a power punch from Glover. Alex is one of the most well rounded fighters and has some of the best wrestling in the division, showing his ability to take down both Jones and DC. If he can impress his will and wear down Teixeira, I believe Gustafsson can get a late stoppage via strikes and set himself up for the potential rematch with Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship that he has desperately wanted. I believe that desperation and the support of the home crowd will lead him to victory.
Crystal ball prediction: Gustafsson via 5th Round TKO
Reza Madadi (+140) vs. Joachim Silva (-160)
Chris Camozzi (-160) vs. Trevor Smith (+140)
Darren Till (-285) vs. Jessin Ayari (+245)
Looking forward to some good fights, and great commentary from Dan Hardy and John Gooden!!
Let me know what you think in the comment sections below. We will be back this week with a UFC 211 rewind, UFC 212 Preview/Picks and a Recap of UFC Fight Night 109: Teixeira vs Gustafsson. Enjoy!!