UFC Fight Night 109 was this past weekend. It was light on star power, but it delivered a good card.
UFC Fight Night 109
GOOD – Jack Hermansson stops Alex Nicholson: Hermansson got Nicholson down and started laying into him with some good ground-and-pound for the stoppage win. Nicholson initially argued the stoppage, but it was good, Hermansson was blasting him with some bigtime shots on the ground. Nice win for Hermansson.
GOOD – Nordine Taleb vs. Oliver Enkamp: This was fairly close, but Taleb controlled things and got the decision victory. This was a fine and solid fight and a good win for Taleb.
GOOD – Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Omari Akhmedov: Another close fight, Akhmedov won the split decision. Alhassan landed some good power shots, but Akhmedov was able to survive them and get repeated takedowns. He had a sound strategy and implemented it well and was rewarded with the victory. Not the most exciting of fights, but I’m in a good mood so it was fine.
GOOD – Peter Sobotta stops Ben Saunders: Sobotta rocked Saunders early and had him on the ropes the whole fight, until he finished him with a vicious knee in the second round. Saunders never got going as Sobotta used his striking to pummel him and wear him down. Very good win for Sobotta, as he looked powerful and very dangerous here.
GOOD – Volakn Oezdemir stops Micha Cirkunov: Cirkunov hurt Oezdemir in the first few seconds, but Oezdemir recovered and blasted Cirkunov to get the stoppage not quite 30 seconds into the first round. Big win for Oezdemir as he looks to makes waves in the light heavyweight division.
GOOD – Alexander Gustafsson stops Glover Teixeira: Gustafsson was just too fast and too hard to figure out for Teixeira. Teixeira has pretty good power, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple Gustafsson in his home country. Teixiera showed incredible toughness, as Gustafsson was laying into him with a lot of strikes. Gustafsson got the finish in the fifth round as he remained aggressive despite being clearly ahead on the scorecards. This is the Gustafsson that can strike fear into the hearts of everyone else in the division. He’s a hard fighter to figure out and, when he’s on his game like he was here, he can cause fits for any fighter.
I don’t know if Gustafsson will get the next title shot or if Jimi Manuwa will get it, but he’s certainly in the mix. If Jon Jones beats UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July, the UFC might lean more towards Gustafsson getting the shot so we can get a rematch of their epic fight. If Cormier wins, though, Manuwa might get more consideration for the shot. Both Gustafsson and Manuwa have won two fights in a row, but Gustafsson does have a win over Manuwa from about three years ago. At the same time, though, Gustafsson has already lost to Cormier once, that coming about two years ago. So it’s hard to say for sure.
I think Gustafsson’s previous title challenges will give him the edge, though, and lead to the UFC giving him the title shot while Manuwa gets put into a fight with the promise of a title shot of his own if he wins. As long as they try to get these fights done quickly so the division doesn’t get back up, that’ll be okay. Gustafsson has the capability to beat either Jones or Cormier if he fights to his full potential. I think most fight fans would be happy to see him try.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Bellator 179 including Kongo, Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley, McGeary
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank