The UFC Stockholm, Sweden event may have not gone as planned for Gunnar Nelson, but was still widely entertaining, producing three finishes in four fights on the main card. Rick Story outclassed the budding prospect in a standing battle, as Max Holloway took out Akira Corassani within the first round in the co main event. Jan Blachowicz and Mike Wilkinson also stopped their bouts in devastating fashion in the very first round of their bouts. The prelims provided some early fireworks in the first two bouts, but things cooled off as the remaining five fights finished in decisions. Fight of the night performance bonus goes to Dennis Siver and Charles Rosa in their extremely exciting bout, as both Max Holloway and Mike Wilkinson get the other bonuses on the card. For some analysis and full results of the UFC card in Stockholm, Sweden, continue reading on as the MMA Spotlight takes care of the rest.
Rick Story defeats Gunnar Nelson via Split Decision – The hype train surrounding UFC’s Gunnar Nelson has been halted for the moment, as Story put on one heck of a performance to steal the show in Stockholm, Sweden. The fight was not as close as it was announced via split decision, Story had control of most of the fight, seemingly solving Nelson’s awkward stance and movement, even clipping him with a looping left hook and dropping Nelson in the fourth round. Nelson on the other hand refused to mix it up, even when he was on the verge of defeat. His output of strikes were lackluster, striking itself was quite predictable, and he had absolutely no answer for Rick Story’s left hand. Gunnar heavily relies on his quickness in his karate stance, and a jolting right hand to find its mark. Story was able to pick up on Nelson’s game plan early, and did a great job dipping and moving out of the range of his right hand. Afterwards, Nelson struggled to find any sort of other offense; The Iceland prospect shot in for take downs which Story was able to maneuver out of quickly, and even tried changing stances ever so often but did not seem to slow Story down. This is the first blemish to a previously undefeated record for Gunnar Nelson, while this victory for Story should immediately push his name into the top 15 of the UFC welterweight division.
Max Holloway defeats Akira Corassani via TKO (Punches) rd. 1 – Halloway continues his climb up the featherweight ranks; winning his last three fights, after losing back to back fights against UFC ranked fighters Conor McGregor and Dennis Bermudez. Holloway was clipped a few times early by the heavy-handed Corassani, but found his range later on in the round and found a home for his own heavy shots. The Hawaiian delivered a counter right hand that dropped Akira at first, but was not able to finish him off as his hurt opponent recovered quickly. Just as quick as Corassani recovered, Holloway created separation in the clinch, landing a knee to the head while once again dropping Akira with a counter right hand. That was it this time, as Corassani would not get up until the ref stepped in to stop the bout. This is the third impressive victory in a row for Holloway, which could lead to a top ten opponent in his next outing.
Jan Blachowicz defeats Ilir Latifi via TKO (Kick and Punches) rd.1 – The feeling out process leaves much to be talked about in this fight, but when Blachowicz decided to strike, he immediately hurt Latifi. A thunderous body kick to the liver is what hurt Latifi early on in the round, then Blachowicz chased down his hurt foe and delivered the finishing blows to get the ref to step in. Latifi really had no chance to get going in this fight, with an ill faded take down attempt when he was already hurt and flailing. A successful debut in the UFC for Blachowicz, sends notice to the rest of the light heavyweight division of him coming.
Mike Wilkinson defeats Niklas Backstrom via KO (Punches) rd.1 – Niklas Backstrom was primed as a breakout candidate entering this UFC bout; and lived up to the hype early, landing some early front kicks to the face and grabbing Wilkinson in a Thai clinch while landing some gruesome knees. Wilkinson weathered the storm, and delivered a flush right hand to Backstrom’s jaw as the Sweden fighter was pushing forward with his hands down. Backstrom fell flat on his back, immediately unconscious as Wilkinson followed up with some ground and pound for good measure. This marks Backstrom with his first defeat on his record, and now puts Wilkinson’s name on the map in the featherweight division.
In other UFC notable fights on the prelim card; Nico Musoke, Dennis Siver, and Cathal Pendred were victorious via unanimous decision. Siver versus the late addition, Charles Rosa, exploded in a match in what many determined as the fight of the night. For the full results of the prelim card, please look down below.
Magnus Cedanblad defeats Scott Askham via Unanimous Decision
Nico Musoke defeats Alexander Yakolev via Unanimous Decision
Dennis Siver defeats Charles Rosa via Unanimous Decision
Cathal Pendred defeats Gasan Umalatov via Split Decision
Krzysztof Jotko defeats Tor Troeng via Unanimous Decision
Mairbek Taisumov defeats Marcin Bandel via TKO (Strikes) rd.1
Zubaira Tukhugov defeats Ernest Chavez via TKO (Strikes) rd.1
As an exciting night of UFC fights conclude in Stockholm, Sweden; another card is just waiting in the wings to get started. Do not forget the double-header, as welterweights Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine headline the second card in Halifax, Canada. Follow the Guardian Liberty Voice as we cover both UFC events to conclude an action packed Saturday night.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA