UFC Fight Night 109: Alexander Gustafsson vs Glover Teixeira

Date: Sunday 28th May 2017, 6pm (BST)

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Venue: Ericsson Globe

UFC Fight Night heads to Stockholm with another great card showcasing some of Europe’s most promising talent, with the main event featuring current number one and number two ranked light heavyweights - Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira.

This clash has been long in the making after Gustafsson pulled out of their original bout back in 2015 due to injury. Both fighters have been gunning for the title for a few years now but have both fallen at the final obstacle. In any other era, either fighter would be worthy of holding the strap, but unfortunately for them the likes of Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson have shared their patch.

Neither fighter has managed to get past these three juggernauts. They both succumbed to vicious knock-outs courtesy of Anthony Johnson and decisions to Jon Jones, although Gustafsson’s decision was razor thin and gave Jones his biggest ever test inside the octagon. Gustafsson also got a shot against Cormier for the belt and lost via a split decision. As crushing as these defeats were, the reality is that these opponents will go down as some of the best light heavyweights of all time and Gustafsson and Teixeira are not far behind them, but a loss for either fighter now could be detrimental, especially for Teixeira who must feel this is his last run for the title at the age of 37.   

See below for a statistical breakdown of the fight:

Gustafsson v Teixeira.jpg

Two more ranked light heavyweights grace the co-main event, as powerful striker Volkan Oezdemir from Switzerland takes on Latvian-born grappler, Misha Cirkunov. Both fighters are on a tear with only three losses between them; Oezdemir on a three fight win streak and Cirkunov on an eight fight win streak. As Oezdemir has only had one UFC fight, we can’t read too much into the striking and grappling stats but do expect a high level striker vs grappler contest. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Oezdemir v Cirkunov.jpg

Another promising European is on show in the form of Peter Sobotta, who takes on the wiry veteran Ben Saunders. This is a fascinating match-up, especially for the submission grappling fans as both are high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts who have amassed 17 submission finishes between them. This is also a contest between two of the most renowned Jiu-Jitsu gyms, with Saunders training with Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and Sobotta training with Dean Lister’s Planet Eater gym. That said, these fighters are also talented strikers but let’s hope we get to see a grappling masterclass. 

See below for a statistical breakdown

Sabotta v Saunders

Another fascinating contest between two grappling experts graces the Stockholm card. This time, between the Ghanaian, Abdul Razak Alhassan – a black belt in Judo – and the Russian, Omari Akhmedov, an International Master of Sports in Combat Sambo and Hand-to-Hand Combat. Two fighters at the top of their trade makes this bout exhilarating but even more so as they are also ferocious strikers. Alhassan is unbeaten, finishing every fight with a knock-out, with Akhmedov also boasting seven knock-out finishes to his name. Let’s hope this bout produces as much excitement as it does on paper. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Alhassan v Akhmedov

Another European prodigy, another unbeaten fighter and another expert of his trade. Oliver Enkamp is a black belt in Karate but has evolved into an incredibly well-rounded fighter, applying his talent to other arts. He takes on the experienced and formidable Nordine Taleb. With ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ experience and training with some of the best fighters in the world at Tristar gym, Taleb is a serious task for a UFC debut. The immensely dedicated and talented Swede seems like he would excel at anything he applied his mind to, but now has the pressure of fighting in his home nation against the tough Taleb, which will be by far his biggest test to date. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Enkamp v Taleb

The first main card fight of the evening is between Jack Hermansson and Alex Nicholson. These fighters are extremely evenly matched and both prefer to stand and bang, so it promises to be another exciting clash. Nicholson has the height and reach advantage and will hope this will be the difference to upset the home fans. They are also both looking to bounce back from a loss to guarantee a future fighting in the UFC.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Hermansson v Nicholson