UFC on FUEL TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva – Preview & Event Coverage
By Dave Carpinello
This weekend the UFC invades the Ericsson Globe Arena for their first event in Sweden. While there are no title bouts or number one contender matches on the card, mixed martial arts fans will still be pleased with an exciting card after a brief hiatus by the UFC for the last couple of weeks.
The first event in Sweden will feature hometown favorite Alexander Gustafsson as he looks to continue his rise in the UFC light heavyweight division as he faces an angry Thiago Silva who hasn’t been in the Octagon for over a year. The rest of the main card has some potential as well as ‘The Roman’ Alessio Sakara takes on ‘The Marine’ Brian Stann, Siyar Bahadurzada makes his UFC debut against B.O.P.E. officer Paulo Thiago, Diego Nunes will lock up against Dennis Siver, DaMarques Johnson returns to face John Maguire and Damacio Page versus Brad Pickett will round out the televised portion of the card.
As has become customary as of late, the UFC will also offer fans a chance to watch the entire preliminary card live on the UFC Facebook page.
Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) vs. Thiago Silva (14-2)
Despite the fact that Alexander Gustafsson didn’t start training mixed martial arts until 2006, he is currently on a four-fight win streak and is 5-1 overall in the UFC. After winning his promotional debut by knockout over Jared Hamman, “The Mauler” was submitted by Phil Davis.
Gustafsson then rebounded with a pair of rear naked choke submissions over Cyrile Diabate and James Te Huna. Following his submission display, Gustafsson went on to TKO his next two opponents Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko. The Swedish native will look to continue his winning ways this Saturday night as he takes on Silva.
Thiago Silva returns to the Octagon after serving a one-year suspension for admitting to using a urine adulterant before his bout against Brandon Vera. Silva joined the UFC undefeated and has since gone 5-2-1 with the promotion, including wins over Houston Alexander, Keith Jardine, and Tomasz Drwal.
Since the start of 2009, Silva has struggled though, losing to former champion Lyoto Machida, knocking out Jardine, and then losing a decision against former champion Rashad Evans before having his win over Vera changed to a no-contest.
Alessio Sakara (15-8) vs. Brian Stann (11-4)
PDG Match-Up of the Night
Alessio Sakara holds a UFC record of 6-5 with one no contest. Before losing to Chris Weidman over a year ago at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann, Sakara was on a three-fight win streak with a knockout over Joe Vedepo, a split decision over Thales Leites, and a first round TKO stoppage over James Irvin.
Sakara was supposed to return action at UFC 133 against Jorge Rivera but he was forced to withdraw after suffering and ACL injury. Sakara holds notable career victories over James Lee and Elvis Sinosic.
The All-American Brian Stann comes into this fight looking to rebound after getting choked out by Chael Sonnen at UFC 136. Brian Stann stood out with his performances in the WEC, but since winning the promotion’s light heavyweight title has found himself on a slippery slope. In his final WEC appearance Stann lost his title in a rematch to Cantwell who earned a TKO victory late in round two, the first time Stann had gone past the first round. In his UFC debut Stann lost by submission to Krzysztof Soszynski, but was able to settle the score with Cantwell in his first decision.
After winning another decision over Rodney Wallace, Stann lost to undefeated prospected Phil Davis. Stann then went on a three-fight winning streak after dropping to middleweight with victories over Mike Massenzio, crushing Chris Leben and then stopping Jorge Santiago.
Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) vs. Paulo Thiago (14-3)
After ten years of fighting around the world, Siyar Bahadurzada finally makes UFC debut this weekend. The former Shooto Light Heavyweight Champion and United Glory World Series Champion comes into this bout riding a six-fight winning streak including wins over Tommy Depret and Carlos Alexandre Pereira.
Born in Afghanistan, Bahadurzada has spent most of his career fighting under the Golden Glory banner (which he has now left) in Shooto and training with the likes of Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Sergei Kharitonov, Gegard Mousasi, Muhammed Lawal and other prominent fighters in the sport.
Paulo Thiago enters Saturday’s bout coming off a win over David Mitchell at UFC 134. That win may have saved Thiago’s UFC career as he was coming off of a two-fight losing streak at the hands of Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann.
To his credit thought, Thiago has won all three of the UFC fight night bonuses and is always looking to excite the crowd during his bouts. He is also a B.O.P.E. special forces officer in Brazil and holds a UFC record of 4-3 with notable wins over Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick.
Diego Nunes (17-2) vs. Dennis Siver (19-8)
Diego Nunes established himself as one of the world’s premiere featherweights during his time in the WEC. Nunes joined the promotion with an 11-0 record, having finished each of his opponents. In his WEC debut he fought to a decision for the first time in his career, defeating Cole Province. Nunes then won a second decision over Rafael Dias before suffering the first loss of his career against highly-regarded L.C. Davis by unanimous decision.
Nunes then edged out a split decision over formerly-top ten ranked Raphael Assuncao in his biggest win at that point in his career. Following that he out-pointed Tyler Toner before winning a split decision against former WEC champion Mike Brown in his final WEC appearance. He was matched up against Kenny Florian in his UFC debut but came up short losing a unanimous decision but he was able to rebound at UFC 141 where he defeated Manvel Gamburyan.
Former Amateur German Kickboxing Champion Dennis Siver enters this weekend’s bout looking to rebound from a submission loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 137. Prior to that loss Siver was on a four-fight win streak that included wins over George Sotiropoulos and Matt Wiman.
This will be Siver’s fourteenth fight under the UFC banner and the dangerous kickfighter owns a 9-4 record in the organization. He has also won each of the UFC fight bonuses at least once and holds other notable wins over Paul Kelly and Jim Wallhead.
UFC on FUEL TV 2 Fight Card:
Main Card (Fuel TV):
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva (Main Event)
Alessio Sakara vs. Brian Stann (PDG Match-Up of the Night)
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Paulo Thiago
Diego Nunes vs. Dennis Siver
DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire
Damacio Page vs. Brad Pickett
Preliminary Card (UFC Facebook):
Papy Abedi vs. James Head
Tom DeBlass vs. Cyrille Diabate
Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
Yoislandy Izquierdo vs. Reza Madadi
Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef
Jason Young vs. Eric Wisely
* The preliminary card online stream kicks off at 12:30 PM EST and the main card goes live on FUEL TV at 3:00 PM EST.
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