UFC returned to Sweden this week with Fight Night 109. The main card comprised of six scintillating bouts as MMA fans were served a great and thrilling fight card with multiple great match-ups. Hence, it’s safe to say that the Fight Night lived up to all the hype and expectations, as we got to witness some breathtaking knockouts and spectacular action.
UFC Fight Night 109 was certainly a great event. However, for all its positives it still had some negatives. Thus, let’s have a look at the major talking points from the event.
- End of the road for Marcin Held!?
About a year ago, Marcin Held was believed to be one of the top lightweight prospects in MMA. He was also considered to be the prodigy of Polish MMA. On May 20, 2016, Held had his last bout for Bellator MMA and emerged triumphant via a rather comfortable unanimous decision victory. He then entered the “big league” when he signed for the UFC. He was expected to take the UFC’s Lightweight division by storm. However, reality struck and he was dispatched with ease by Diego Sanchez in his UFC debut. He was expected to bounce back strongly but has since lost two more fights. He is currently on a 3-bout losing streak, his fighting style isn’t the most exciting and enthralling. He also doesn’t possess the gift of gab and thus he might soon be cut from the UFC roster.
- Pedro Munhoz is on a roll
Pedro “The Young Punisher” Munhoz made his UFC debut as a promising bantamweight prospect. He was undefeated at the time of his octagon debut. Though, he soon faced adversity as he was defeated by Raphael Assuncao in his octagon debut. He soon got back to winning ways but his rise to success was again halted by the Brazilian testing positive for exogenous origin of testosterone and by a defeat at the hands of Jimmie Rivera. His career was seemingly going downhill but he has since rejuvenated himself as a fighter.
“The Young Punisher” seems to be a completely different fighter these days. He has switched Kings MMA in favour of American Top Team and Din Thomas, Mike Brown and the other coaches at ATT have helped him change his fighting style a lot. He is currently riding high on a three-fight win streak and certainly has the potential to become a top contender.
- Volkan Oezdemir shines, as Jimi Manuwa watches vigilantly
Volkan Oezdemir came into this fight as a huge underdog. The fans as well as the pundits were expecting Misha Cirkunov to cruise towards a victory. However, Oezdemir shocked the world when he shut the lights off for the BJJ ace with a stunning short right hook. The Swiss has an MMA record of 14-1 with notable victories over Ovince St-Preux and David Round. He has only had two fights in the UFC yet. Though, he is making huge strides by knocking out top 10 fighters.
Oezdemir’s victory was being closely watched by another heavy-hitter, Jimi Manuwa. “Poster Boy” was apparently going to challenge DC for the 205-pound title but was leapfrogged by Jon Jones. Manuwa currently finds himself without an opponent and far from a title shot. Thus, a bout between the two knockout artists makes a lot of sense. Hence, Oezdemir and Manuwa might soon be trading punches.
- Phenomenal Gustaffson deserves a title shot
Alexander Gustaffson stepped into the octagon as a slight favourite against Glover Teixeira. During the fight, the tall lanky Swede was looking to utilise his long reach, whereas the Brazilian tried to cut the distance while also throwing some big wild punches. The BJJ black belt started well as he pushed Gustaffson towards the cage into a clinch and then secured an early takedown. Although, Gustaffson remained unfazed and showcased his brilliant wrestling skills in getting back to his feet without breaking a sweat. “The Mauler” then started dominating the bout by utilising his long reach. He rocked and stunned the Brazilian multiple times and managed to knock him down in the third round. He then finally managed to coup-de-grace Teixeira in the final round of the fight via a beautiful uppercut-right hook combination.
This was simply a marvellous performance by the tall Swede. He dominated the second ranked light heavyweight in the UFC with relative ease. Such a dominant performance over a top ranked fighter deserves to be rewarded with a title shot. Gustaffson should challenge the winner of DC vs. Jones-2, hopefully he’ll enjoy more success in his next bout for the title.