UFC Fight night 109 takes place in Stockholm, Sweden tomorrow and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira
It’s interesting that both of these two light-heavyweight stars are within reach of title contention at 205lbs, yet last time out they were both just glad to grind out decision victories, abandoning striking in favor of wrestling to defeat opponents they were expected to run through.
So, it’s fair to say that neither fighter is running particularly high on confidence heading into this match-up.
Skill-wise its a well matched fight, with both men being well-rounded fighters. I’d give the edge to Gustafsson in terms of technical striking as he has good footwork, puts together quality combinations and uses range well, but while he’s not quite so slick, Teixeira is the heavier hitter.
Teixeira is a good wrestler with dangerous submissions, but the Swede has excellent takedown defense and is very capable when he gets on top.
Gustafsson’s not been in a great place of late after being unsuccessful in two separate title fights, but he’s still only 30 and a win here may well put him next in line, so I think he’ll rise to the challenge against Teixeira, who at 37 is starting to slow down and will eventually succumb to ‘The Mauler’ by TKO deep into the fight.
Alexander Gustafsson to win by TKO in Rd4.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Volkan Oezdemir
The UFC’s light-heavyweight division in a strange place right now. Ryan Bader recently joined another former top 10 205lb star Phil Davis in Bellator, title contender Anthony Johnson unexpectedly announced his retirement and promising up and comer Nikita Krylov was let go.
That’s how we now find ourselves in a position where Volkan Oezdemir is currently residing at No.5 in the light-heavyweight rankings despite only having one win in the Octagon over Ovince St. Preux.
Oezdemir is a solid enough fighter, but it definitely feels like his current position in the rankings flatters to deceive.
Cirkunov almost left the UFC recently as well, but thankfully the promotion came to their senses and did re-sign him, as he has shown a lot of promise during a 4-0 run to start his time in the UFC.
A strong grappler with a dangerous submission game, Cirkunov should be too much for Oezdemir on the mat and I think he’ll be able to tap him out inside the distance to continue his own climb up the top 10 rankings.
Misha Cirkunov to win by submission in Rd2.
Ben Saunders vs. Peter Sobotta
The quality of this card takes a drastic slide after the top two fights, but to be fair, Ben Saunders fights are usually quite entertaining.
He has some nasty muay thai, particularly in the clinch and is very crafty from his back on the mat.
Sobotta has improved his skills over the years and is now fairly well-rounded without being particularly outstanding in any particular area.
This one could go either way, but I think it’s likely to go to a decision and Sobotta’s extended period on top will edge out Saunders more eye-catching work to win a decision.
Peter Sobotta to win by decision.
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Omari Akhmedov
This is a tricky one as Alhassan has looked unstoppable so far with a perfect 7-0 record, all finished with every single win coming by way of punches in under 90 seconds.
That means we’ve really got no idea what he’ll be like if he doesn’t get an early finish on the feet.
On the other hand, Akhmedov has more experience in the Octagon and faced a higher level of competition, but he’s posted mixed results and has been TKO’d in two of his last three fights – albeit in the third round.
It’s possible that Akhmedov does drag Alhassan into deeper waters, but he’s definitely vulnerable to being stopped and so I think ‘Razor’ will eventually put him away.
Abdul Razak Alhassan to win by TKO in Rd2.
Oliver Enkamp vs. Nordine Taleb
Enkamp steps into this fight on just two weeks notice, and though he has a 7-0 record competing on the European circuit this will likely prove to be a step too far too soon.
Taleb is the bigger, more experienced fighter with a sturdy enough skill-set to deal with Enkamp, stopping him on the feet before the final bell.
Nordine Taleb to win by TKO in Rd3.
Jack Hermansson vs. Alex Nicholson
This is an evenly matched, but unremarkable fight in which I think Hermansson’s more methodical, measured approach will enable him to outpoint the more aggressive, but less technical approach employed by Nicholson.
Jack Hermansson to win by decision.
Prelims: (predicted winners in bold)
Pedro Munhoz vs. Damian Stasiak
Chris Camozzi vs. Trevor Smith
Reza Madadi vs. Joaquim Silva
Nico Musoke vs. Bojan Velickovic
Jessin Ayari vs. Darren Till
Marcin Held vs. Damir Hadzovic