UFC Fight Night 153 - Stockholm Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 153? Saturday 1st June, 2019 - 16:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 153? Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden
What channel is UFC Fight Night 153 on? BT Sport 3
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 153? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live and you can take advantage of a free trial with ESPN+ and subscribe now by clicking here!
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 153? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets
Alexander Gustafsson vs Anthony Smith
Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson makes the walk in front of his home fans in Stockholm to take on Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith who is also fresh off a humbling against the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The King of Sweden will have everyone cheering for him at UFC Fight Night 153 and he will welcome all of the encouragement as he looks to bounce back from getting dominated by Jon Jones in their rematch in December last year. Gustafsson was eventually finished in the third round by Jones who was more prepared this time round and took great pleasure in snapping The Mauler’s two-fight winning streak.
Smith lasted longer in his title fight, taking Jones to a decision which was a combination of toughness and a hesitancy from Jones to pull the trigger. Nonetheless, Smith’s rise in the last year has been remarkable and this experience will only make him a better fighter but he is taking on another elite light heavyweight after a quick turnaround.
After a bruising battle with one of the greatest fighters of all time, both men will be fancying their chances but if they do not respect each other’s skills, they will be looking at two losses in a row.
Smith will back his chin but absorbing nearly five significant strikes a minute is never a good idea against one of the best strikers in the division. That said, he will go toe-to-toe with the Swede, knowing he has the power to finish with one crack to the jaw.
He has a good chance of a knockout as the majority of this fight will remain on the feet where they will both exchange heavy leather but Gustafsson has the technique to out-box Smith and utilise his reach to dip in and out of range to pepper him with combinations.
‘Lionheart’ will be dangerous for all five rounds but will be better off on the ground so will have to mix in takedowns and try and conduct the tempo. However, the technique, range and takedown defence is likely to pile on the damage and although Smith lasted five rounds with Jones, the Stockholm crowd may help ‘The Mauler’ find a finish just like he did last time he performed in the capital against Glover Teixeira.
Winner: Gustafsson via KO/TKO
Volkan Oezdemir vs Ilir Latifi
Jimi Manuwa vs Aleksandar Rakic
Another top light heavyweight scrap graces the Ericsson Globe with another representative of the Allstars Training Center Ilir Latifi taking on the fearsome knockout artist Volkan Oezdemir.
Oezdemir makes the short trip from his native Switzerland but is under a mountain of pressure hoping to prevent a four-fight skid. On his rapid rise to the top of the division he earned a title shot against Daniel Cormier and got a taste of championship level fighting and wrestling. This loss wasn’t a surprise but he went on to get submitted by Anthony Smith and miss out on a close decision to Dominick Reyes. These fights were closer, especially Reyes where many believed Oezdemir did enough to earn the points himself and now he has another test in a tough stylistic match-up.
Latifi is coming off a decision loss of his own to Corey Anderson which was a disappointing performance as he had all the tools to beat Anderson but gassed out, leaving the door open for the cardio machine to control the last two rounds.
Latifi is a devastating striker but will have to be cautious standing in front of Oezdemir who look to use his reach advantage and remind everyone of his one-punch knockout power.
Latifi will be wise to enforce his grappling and look at Oezdemir’s fight with Daniel Cormier as a blueprint to find a finish. He may try and chop him down with leg kicks but ultimately close the distance and exploit Oezdemir’s weakness on the floor.
However, Oezdemir only needs one opportunity to end the fight and if it goes past the first round, he will be even more dangerous as Latifi begins to fade. Latifi is durable but if his defence begins to slack, Oezdemir will capitalise in devastating fashion.
Winner: Oezdemir via KO/TKO
Makwan Amirkhani vs Chris Fishgold
Two bright European and charismatic prospects square-off in Stockholm with Makwan Amirkhani and Chris Fishgold eyeing up a win to catapult them towards the top 15.
‘Mr Finland’ Amirkhani suffered his first loss in the UFC back in March 2017 in a close split decision against Arnold Allen but responded well in another close fight against Jason Knight, earning a split decision of his own. Now he is hungry to gain some momentum but needs to fight more regularly than once a year.
Fishgold has also has only fought once a year since 2016 but after racking up seven wins in a row, he earned the UFC call-up. He was handed a tough fight for his debut against Calvin Kattar who made light work of the Englishman, knocking him out in the first round. However, he responded with a vintage submission finish over Daniel Teymur in his last fight.
Amirkhani is a national champion wrestler and Fishgold is a Jiu-Jitsu wizard so it will be fascinating to see this scrapped out on the ground. However, we are likely to see a lot of striking as they respect each other's skills.
This is where Fishgold has the edge. He is a powerful and aggressive striker and Amirkhani should have too much class to prevent a finish but Fishgold’s output will help him sway the judges.
Winner: Fishgold via Decision
Damir Hadzovich vs Christos Giagos
Christos ‘The Spartan’ Giagos continues his habit of fighting on foreign soil and heads to Sweden for his next fight but Damir ‘The Bosnian Bomber’ Hadzovic is out to send the American home with a loss.
Hadzovic had a tough start to his UFC career and was handed Mairbek Taisumov for his debut. He truly tasted the step-up in competition along with the Russian’s right hand but four fights and three wins later, Hadzovic is on a two-fight winning streak with wins over Nick Hein and Marco Polo Reyes but knows he will need another top performance to get past Giagos.
The UFC were even more unkind for Giagos’ debut by matching him up with the experienced Charles Oliveira. This inevitably ended in a submission loss but the Californian bounced back with a unanimous decision over Mizuto Hirota in his last outing in Adelaide.
Giagos is no Gerard Butler but he is a very talented Mixed Martial Artist and like Hadzovic, he is incredibly well-rounded. They are both great grapplers with dangerous submission games and as well as being powerful and explosive strikers.
So, we can expect a bit of everything in this fight. They both mix striking with takedowns brilliantly and their timing will be crucial to controlling the fight. Giagos has devastating knees that he will be prepared to unleash when Hadzovic shoots in but the Bosnian will also be waiting to offload bombs in the exchanges, knowing Giagos is prone to being reckless when hunting a knockout.
It is this recklessness that may change the course of the fight. If he doesn’t find a knockout, he may tire in the latter stages which will leave the door open for Hadzovic to squeeze out a hard-fought decision.
Winner: Hadzovich via Decision
Daniel Teymur vs Sung Bin Jo
Daniel Teymur welcomes the South Korean prospect Sung Bin Jo to Stockholm for his UFC debut and arrives with an unbeaten record and a lot of hype.
Like his brother, Teymur hails from a very successful Muay Thai and Kickboxing background but unlike his brother, he has struggled in the UFC. Earning his spot after winning his first six MMA fights, the Swede lost to Danny Henry on his debut and then got submitted by Julio Arce and Chris Fishgold.
Bin Jo is only 26 years old but has nine impressive wins and finishes on his unblemished record already as well as picking up multiple championships in Asian promotions. He arrives to the UFC with a lot of hype and rightly so but needs to pass the UFC test to gain any traction.
This is a favourable match-up for Bin Jo as he faces Teymur off a three-fight skid. Teymur is an exceptional striker but the South Korean has a crucial six inches in height and three-and-a-half-inch reach advantage and he will back his technique and speed to outclass the Swede.
Bin Jo also has a dangerous submission game which has been a clear weakness of Teymur so the debutant is expected to rise to the occasion by winning the stand-up battle and he if doesn’t find a knockout, he is expected to do enough damage to set up a submission.
Winner: Bin Jo via KO/TKO
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.