TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/28: Gustaffson vs. Teixeira confirmed by UFC for return to Sweden on May 28 (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Glover Teixeira (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

UFC’s return to Sweden is starting to take shape with the official announcement of its main event as well as three other supporting bouts.

Combate first reported earlier this week that Sweden native Alexander Gustafsson will be fighting Glover Teixeira in the main event. UFC officially confirmed the matchup today for the show that will emanate on May 28 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm.

Gustafsson vs. Teixeira will pit the respective #6 and #7 light heavyweights against each other for the first time. Both are long term top 205 pounders and had unsuccessfully challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against then-champion Jon Jones. Gustafsson also has a close loss to current champion Daniel Cormier in a title fight and Teixeira suffered a knockout defeat to top contender Anthony Johnson in August.

Also announced for the card were the following: Magnus Cedenblad vs. Chris Camozzi, Christian Colombo vs. Damian Grabowski, and Jack Hermansson vs. Alex Nicholson.

The event will mark UFC’s fifth stop to the Swedish capital. They last visited in January of 2015 for an event also headlined by Gustafsson that took place at the Tele2 Arena in front of about 30,000 fans. This event will take place at the smaller Ericsson Globe that has seen attendances ranging from 10,000-15,000 for past UFC events.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 31 with pre-sales on Wednesday, March 29, and Thursday, March 30.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: That’s a solid main event for what may turn out to be a Fight Pass exclusive show. While not the deepest of divisions right now, Light Heavyweight is a very wide open and difficult to predict division so a win for either Gustafsson or Teixeira could put them right back in title contention. The pending return of Jon Jones will likely take precedence over either of these two, but with Jones, anything is possible. Gustafsson had very entertaining and closely fought battles with both Jones and Cormier, so a win for Gustafsson could see him being rematched with either Jones or Cormier should they be champion come year’s end. If Anthony Johnson is the champion, then that will make it tough as he has decisive wins over both Gustafsson and Teixeira. The undercard fights leave a little to be desired but they are typical for this type of card, with most of those names being staples for European UFC undercards.


-In a tweet Monday night, Cub Swanson said he confirmed with UFC that his fight against Artem Lobov is still the main event of the April 22 show from Nashville. This comes after many fans were critical of the main event, particularly the inclusion of Lobov, and after reports emerged of a new main event between Demian Maia and Jorge Masvidal, which UFC has yet to officially announce one way or another.

-Heavyweight Derrick Lewis told Ariel Helwani on yesterday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” that he feels Travis Browne and Cain Velasquez are the only two in the division who can really challenge him and that he would prefer to fight the winner of this weekend’s Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt fight rather than a “black on black crime” fight between himself and Francis Ngannou.

-A Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef rematch for the Bellator Middleweight Championship has been booked as the main event for Bellator 176 on April 8 from Torino, Italy. (SOURCE)

-The first two episodes of UFC 209 Embedded have been released.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/27: Dana downplays McGregor vs. Mayweather, Greg Hardy-MMA update, Maia vs. Masvical (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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