CURRENT RECORD: 90-50-1
Swiftly following UFC 211 is UFC Fight Night 109 beaming live from Stockholm, Sweden. Headlining this card is the hometown hero; Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson as he takes on the mighty Glover Teixeira in an exciting light-heavyweight clash. Acting as co-main event is another fight with repercussions for the light-heavyweight rankings, as two of Europe’s finest will go toe to toe with Volkan Oezdemir taking on Misha Cirkunov. Elsewhere on this card, there are plenty of fights to get excited for including; KO machine Abdul Razak Alhassan taking on Omari Akhmedov, Nordine Taleb battling Oliver Enkamp, Pedro Munhoz faces off against Damian Stasiak and Marcin Held will be looking to bounce back with a win against Damir Hadzovic. Plenty of European talent on show, so make sure you’re tuned in so you don’t miss out.
As always, I will now break down all the main card fights, give my predictions and of course, put my own “Armchair Expert” title on the line.
ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON vs. GLOVER TEIXEIRA
Alexander Gustafsson suffered consecutive losses in 2015 before taking a year long break. Once he returned to the Octagon, “The Mauler” bounced back with a fine win over Jan Blachowicz. The Swede is one of the finest in the division and undoubtedly gave Jon Jones the toughest fight of his career when the pair headlined UFC 165. Glover Teixeira came into the UFC as one of the most feared light-heavyweights in the sport; he has since built a record of 9-3 inside the Octagon. Teixeira was riding a three fight win streak prior to “Rumble” Johnson putting him to sleep but the dangerous Brazilian overcame that loss by defeating Jared Cannonier last time out. Both these fighters know a solid victory here could put them in line for the winner of Jones/Cormier 2 and I’m giving the edge to Gustafsson. I believe “The Mauler” is a little better than Teixeira in every aspect; he is a quicker, crisper striker, has solid takedown defence and the ability to last the five rounds. Throw that in with hometown advantage and I think Gustafsson takes a decision victory.
Gustafsson by decision.
VOLKAN OEZDEMIR vs. MISHA CIRKUNOV
This fight will pit two of Europe’s best light-heavyweights against one another. Volkan Oezdemir made his UFC debut by taking a short notice fight against Ovince Saint Preux. Oezdemir came into the fight expected to lose but instead did enough to snatch a decision victory to improve his overall record to 13-1. Misha Cirkunov could have a huge future with the UFC if he continues his current run. Cirkunov has a record of 13-2, is currently on an eight fight win streak and has finished all eight of these opponents early. Cirkunov is dangerous wherever this fight takes places and more than capable of ending it early if he chooses. My gut feeling for this one is that Cirkunov gets him to the ground and latches onto Oezdemir’s neck, forcing the tap.
Cirkunov by submission.
PETER SOBOTTA vs. BEN SAUNDERS
After failing to gain a win in his first stint with the UFC, Peter Sobotta made his return in 2014 and has since gone 3-1. In his last outing, Sobotta won an impressive unanimous decision over Nicolas Dalby to take his record to 16-5-1 overall. The Polish native is a submission specialist and holds ten submission victories to his name. Ben Saunders has only lost once since the UFC snapped him up in 2014. “Killa B” is an experienced fighter having competed in 30 pro fights, building a record of 21-7-2. Saunders is always searching for an early finish; 16 of his 21 victories haven’t needed the final bell. I think this fight comes down to a grappling match up and I think Saunders will more than hold his own. If it does, I expect him to scrape a decision.
Saunders by decision.
ABDUL RAZAK ALHASSAN vs. OMARI AKHMEDOV
Abdul Razak Alhassan returns to the Octagon for the first time since his first round demolition of Ireland’s Charlie Ward. Alhassan came into that fight with a big reputation of being a knockout artist and he duly lived up to that billing. He remains undefeated with seven knockout victories. After entering the UFC with a record of 12-1, things got better again for Akhmedov as he won his debut by a first round KO. Since then however, the Dagestan native has gone 3-3; being finished in all three of his losses. If Alhassan can’t keep this on the feet then Akhmedov will most likely eat him alive on the ground but I’m still leaning towards Alhassan. His stand up and raw power really impressed me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he adds another knockout to his résumé here.
Alhassan by knockout.
OLIVER ENKAMP vs. NORDINE TALEB
Oliver Enkamp steps in to take this fight on just a weeks’ notice. Enkamp is a decorated karate fighter with an MMA record of 7-0. This will be a tough task for him but there is no doubt he could pull off a surprise. Nordine Taleb has never lit up the welterweight division, always finding stumbling blocks of a lower calibre. Taleb is a smart tactician with a smooth ground game but he is coming off a tough loss to Santiago Pozinibbio. He has never recorded back to back losses so he will be eager to avoid that happening here. Enkamp, like any fighter inside the cage, has a punchers chance but I see Taleb controlling this from start to finish.
Taleb by decision.
JACK HERMANSSON vs. ALEX NICHOLSON
Jack Hermansson came through his debut with flying colours when defeating Scott Askham but he followed that up with a disappointing submission loss to Cezar Ferreira just two months later. “The Joker” is currently 14-3; with 11 of those wins coming by stoppage. Hermansson is fighting in his home country so he will surely be revved up to put on a great showing for the fans. Alex Nicholson entered the UFC with a record of 6-1 and on a five fight win streak but “The Spartan” has since lost two of his last three. Nicholson is a smart puncher with heavy hands and none of his seven victories have seen the final bell. Nicholson is dangerous and Hermansson must be weary of his power but I think “The Joker” will do enough to claim the decision victory.
Hermansson by decision.
Best of the Rest.
Pedro Munhoz vs. Damian Stasiak
Munhoz to win.
Trevor Smith vs. Chris Camozzi
Camozzi to win.
Reza Madadi vs. Joaquim Silva
Madadi to win.
Nico Musoke vs. Bojan Velickovic
Musoke to win.
Darren Till vs. Jessin Ayari
Till to win.
Marcin Held vs. Damir Hadzovic
Held to win.
Bet of the Day.
The adventurous bet: all 12 predictions in an accumulator is about 96/1.
The inbetweener bet: Madadi, Hermansson, Cirkunov and Gustafsson to win is 5/1.
The conservative bet: Gustafsson by KO is 13/10.
Don’t forget to keep updated on all things “Ultimate Fight Chat” by liking and following all the links on the homepage.
And remember “Ultimate Fight Chat- A Guide to Becoming an Armchair Expert” is FREE to download from here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645687