UFC Fight Night 109 was supposed to be the company’s first trip to Denmark. However, it was switched to Stockholm, Sweden and will be headlined by Swedish light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson, who will take on Brazil’s Glover Teixeira in the main event.
The card has a distinctly European flair to it with fighters from Denmark, Switzerland, Russia and Poland all scheduled. Here is a closer look at the bouts we’ll see this Saturday.
These two were supposed to fight in June 2015 but Gustafsson (17-4) was injured. He will return from another injury to face Teixeira (26-5), who has won four of his last five bouts. Gustafsson is the No. 1-ranked 205-pounder after champion Daniel Cormier, who takes on Jon Jones in July at UFC 214. Teixeira is No. 2, so the winner will likely take on the winner of Cormier/Jones.
These two strikers have a lot at stake going into this bout as each has had a title fight in the past, both losing to Jones, although Gustafsson gave the former champ the toughest match of his career. Gustafsson is listed at -325 for this bout while Teixeira is priced at +250.
Switzerland’s Volkan Oezdemir (13-1) faces Russia’s Misha Cirkunov (13-2), who fights out of Toronto, in this battle of the light heavyweights. Cirkunov has been on a roll with eight straight wins, all by stoppage and five by submission. Oezdemir won a split decision in his UFC debut over Ovince St. Preux in February. He has to be better than he was in that fight as Cirkunov has the ability to end it at any minute. Cirkunov is a heavy favorite in this spot at -450 while Oezdemir comes in at +325.
Peter Sobotta (16-5-1) will take on Ben Saunders (21-7-2) in a welterweight bout. Sobotta, who is from Poland but fights out of Germany, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace with surprising knockout power. Saunders is also a black belt with knockout power as he has nine knockouts in his 21 wins. This will be a very interesting clash between two fighters looking to break into the picture in a loaded 170-pound division. Saunders is a slight -125 favorite in this bout while Sobotta is priced at -105.
Two more welterweights square off as Ghana’s Abdul Razak Alhassan (7-0) meets Russia’s Omari Akhmedov (16-4), who has lost two of his three fights by TKO. That isn’t good news as he faces Alhassan, who has won all seven of his fights by knockout. The longest any of his fights have lasted has been 1:26. He dropped Charlie Ward in 53 seconds in his UFC debut and he’ll look to make short work of the Russian. Alhassan is favored at -270 while Akhmedov comes in at +210.
One more welterweight match makes the main card as Sweden’s Oliver Enkamp (7-0) makes his UFC debut against France’s Nordine Taleb (12-4), who fights out of Montreal. Taleb has lost two of his last three overall, so he’ll have to turn things around. Enkamp, who has yet to lose, has won four of his fights by submission, so he’ll look to get this fight to the mat against Taleb.
Taleb prefers to make this into a striking bout, so it will be a contrast of styles. It might seem odd to see Taleb – a fighter that has lost four times – as such a big favorite but keep in mind that Enkamp will be entering the Octagon for the first time. Taleb has six UFC fights under his belt and is posted at -550 while Enkamp comes in at +375.
Sweden’s Jack Hermansson (14-2) and Alex Spartan (7-3) will open up the main card in a middleweight bout. Hermansson had a nine-fight win streak snapped in his last bout as he lost to Cezar Ferreira via submission in November.
Nicholson has lost two of his last three, but he meets a fellow striker in Hermansson, who has eight TKO/KO wins to six for Nicholson. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a knockout opened up this card in Sweden. Hermansson is a slight -145 favorite while Nicholson is priced at +115.