Cyrille Diabate – via MMAJunkie
On Saturday, April 14 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm Sweeden, UFC on Fuel TV will take place. The night of action is headlined by a light heavyweight clash between Alexander Gustafsson taking on replacement fighter Thiago Silva. The night’s co-main event will feature heavy handed Brian Stann going to battle against Alessio Sakara. The preliminary fights will air on Facebook, while the six-fight main card will air on Fuel TV. All six preliminary fights and four of the main card fights are previewed below.
The night will kick off with a featherweight bout as Jason ‘Shotgun’ Young (8-5 MMA 0-2 UFC) taking on American Eric Wisely (19-7 MMA 0-1 UFC) in the first match of the prelims. Young looks to rebound from unanimous decision defeats to notables Dustin Poirier and Michihiro Omigawa. Wisely, who is a replacement for the injured Akira Corrassani, looks to get back to winning ways following a submission loss to up and coming Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira in his UFC debut. With both guys coming in with losing records in the UFC both could possibly be fighting to save their UFC careers and continue their tenure with the company.
The second match of the evening will see two UFC debuts as Norwegian Simeon Thoresen (16-2-1) takes on Swedish Besam Yousef (6-0) in the welterweight division. Thoresen was Ultimate Warrior Challenge welterweight champion and Yousef was Zone FC welterweight champion before signing up for their UFC debuts. 14 of the Danes 16 wins have come via submission whilst 5 of six of Yousef’s wins have also been by submission so this one could be a good encounter on the mat.
Another match of newcomers to the UFC sees Swedish ace Reza Madadi (11-2), who comes in to his debut on a six fight win streak which includes notables Junie Browning, Carlos Prater and Rich Clementi, taking on Cuban born American Yoislandy Izquierda (6-0). There has been a lot of talk of Madadi and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his first fight in the big leagues.
Francis Carmont picked up the biggest win of his career in his UFC debut with a unanimous decision win against Chris Camozzi back at UFC 137. Now his role is reversed from newbie as he takes on debutant Magnus Cedenblad. The French Tristar Gym member, Carmont, is now on a six fight win streak whereas his Swedish counterpart brings in a seven fight win streak which has earned him a spot on the card in his home country.
Dangerous kickboxer Cyrille Diabaté (17-8-1) has skipped between wins and losses so far in his UFC tenure winning against Luiz Cané and Steve Cantwell but losing to Alexander Gustafsson and most recently Anthony Perosh. Diabaté was set to face world renowned kickboxer Jorgen Kruth who has made his way to the octagon at 37 years old. “The Last Viking” who holds a 1-0 boxing record, 71-14 kickboxing record and now 5-0 MMA record is a man who has fought all of his life and is a former two time World Muay Thai Council Super Heavyweight World Champion. Kruth’s UFC welcoming has been put on hold for the time being though as he was forced to pull out citing an injury and has been replaced by newcomer Tom DeBlass. The Ricardo Almeida taught fighter takes the fight on just a weeks’ notice and brings in a perfect 7-0 record, most recently defeating Randy Smith by heel hook after just 41 seconds at Ring of Combat 39 in February.
Two guys face off looking to bounce back after almost identical losses at almost identical times are welterweights Papy Abedi and James Head. Abedi lost at UFC 138 by rear naked choke at the hands of Thiago Alves whilst Head lost, also by rear naked choke, at UFC 131 to Nick Ring. The losses came at 3.32 and 3.33 of the first round. The Alves loss was the first of Abedi’s (8-1) career so far and he will be looking to get back on track against Head (7-2).
Top British bantamweight Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett gets back in the octagon following a UFC debut loss in the co-main event at UFC 138 in England to the impressive Renan Barao. Pickett (20-6), who holds notable wins over Demetrious Johnson and Ivan Menjivar, faces off with “The Anger of Death” Damacio Page in what could be a ‘Fight of the Night’ contender. Page (12-6) recently suffered a second loss to Brian Bowles, in what could have been a re-run of their first bout, with Bowles sinking in a guillotine choke and forcing the tap at 3.30 of the first round. This was the exact same time and way that their first meeting ended at WEC 35. I spoke to Brad recently and he had this to say about the fight;
“Yeah he’s a very dangerous opponent. Were both coming off losses and its very clever match making because we both have kind of like aggressive styles so I think it’ll be a very exciting fight”
The Ultimate Fighter 9 finalist DaMarques Johnson (16-9) returns to action for the first time since a November knockout of Clay Harvison at UFC on FOX 1. Johnson’s opponent is British welterweight John ‘The One’ Maguire (17-3) who comes in following a debut win over Justin Edwards at UFC 138 in his homeland of England. Maguire brings a six-fight win streak into the fight that saw him win the UCMMA and OMMAC welterweight titles and winning his UFC debut. Maguire’s last defeat was actually at the hands of aforementioned Norwegian UFC debutante Simeon Thoresen at BAMMA 3 back in May of 2010.
Dennis Siver (19-8) makes his long awaited debut at featherweight against division veteran Diego ‘The Gun’ Nunes. ‘The Gun’ (17-2) has faced top competition in the division including Raphael Assuncao, Mike Brown, Kenny Florian and Manvel Gamburyan and has won all of those fights except Florian. Siver was expected to face Ross Pearson in a rematch of their fight at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi which Pearson won by decision. That fight fell through and Siver took the fight with Nunes whilst Pearson is now matched up with Cub Swanson at UFC on FX 4. The rematch does look like it will happen at some point though as both fighters have expressed an interest in it. For the time being we have this very exciting bout which should be fast paced with some brilliant striking on show.
Paulo Thiago burst on to the welterweight scene back in 2009 with a knockout win against Josh Koscheck at UFC 95. That win took Paulo to 11-0 and he looked destined for great things. Since that win Thiago has gone just 3-3, taking his record to 14-3 overall. He recently bounced back from consecutive defeats to Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez with a win over David Mitchell at UFC 134 back in August. He will have his hands full however with a debutant who has paid his dues on his way to the big show and who a lot of people have been raving about for a long time. Siyar Bahadurzada has acquired a 20-4 record over during his career so far and has also picked up many fans as well as nicknames in this time. Going by ‘Siyar the Great’, ‘Killer’, ‘Unstoppable’ and ‘Afghan Killa’ the 27 year old Afghanistan native has trained with such fighters as Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Sergei Kharitonov, Gegard Mousasi, Muhammed Lawal, Rashad Evans, Mark Munoz and other notable fighters. Coming into this match on the back of six straight wins, Bahadurzada will look to a win in this fight to prove himself among the elite and catapult him into contention in a division which really seems to be heating up in the wake of dominant champion Georges Saint-Pierre’s current long term injury.