Gustafsson’s homecoming a smashing success this time

Alexander Gustafsson’s last fight in his native Sweden resulted in one of the worst nights of his life.

He more than made up for it with the return visit Sunday.

Not only did Gustafsson secure his spot as the next in line to challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title, his proposal to his girlfriend was accepted in the cage after he knocked out Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm.

Gustafsson consistently found a home for his right uppercut throughout the fight, though he was having trouble putting Teixeira away. That changed early in the fifth round when Gustafsson blasted him with three consecutive uppercuts and then put Teixeira away with a right hook.

“I hit him with bombs and he took every shot,” Gustafsson said. “He’s a great fighter and it was an honor to fight him.

“My uppercut worked and I was working my elbows and knees. It was just my day today.”

He decided to share the moment with his girlfriend Moa, who gave birth to the couple’s first daughter just two weeks ago.

It was certainly a far better experience for Gustafsson than when he headlined the UFC’s last card in Sweden in January 2015 and was unceremoniously knocked out by Anthony Johnson in the first round.

Gustafsson hopes the performance in the win over Teixeira will be enough to earn him another shot at the belt against the winner of July’s title bout between former champion Jon Jones and current champ Daniel Cormier.

Gustafsson has lost close decisions to both fighters in title bouts, but believes he has done enough to be next in line once again.

“I really hope so,” he said.

He may have some new company as a light heavyweight contender.

Volkan Oezdemir needed just 28 seconds to knock out rising star Misha Cirkunov with a short right hand behind the ear. He is now 2-0 in the UFC with a pair of wins over highly-ranked opponents.

“My first fight was a shock for me, just being in the UFC was a shock,” Oezdmir said of his win over Ovince Saint Preux in February. “ But after that first fight, a lot of things changed in my mind. I knew what I needed to do. I’m so focused on my career now and I’m going to continue to put 100 percent of my focus on it. This is the second time that people have doubted me. I don’t care about being the underdog because it gives me more fuel to prove everybody wrong. It’s all about the day of the fight and what you can do.”

He hopes to get a fight against Jimi Manuwa to essentially determine who falls next in line behind Gustafsson.

Also on the card, Peter Sobotta knocked out welterweight Ben Saunders in the second round after landing a crushing knee and Jack Hermansson stopped middleweight Alex Nicholson just 2:00 into the first round with a series of punches.

Welterweights Omari Akhmedov and Nordine Taleb picked up decision wins on the main card.

Taleb spoiled Oliver Enkamp’s UFC debut by taking a unanimous decision.

Akhmedov handed Abdul Razak Alhassan the first loss of his career as he captured a split decision. Alhassan had knocked out his first seven opponents within the first 90 seconds, but Akhmedov wore him down with seven takedowns and left Alhassan seeking a different path to victory.

“I am very disappointed in myself because I feel like I could have thrown more punches and more kicks but I was holding back,” Alhassan said. “He’s a very tough fighter because I know I hit him with everything I had. A few of the shots I thought were going to stop him from coming back but they didn’t. Now I will go back to training and correct my mistakes so that it doesn’t happen again because losing sucks.”

Alhassan actually won rounds two and three on one scorecard, while Akhmedov was awarded all three rounds on the other two cards.

Contact Adam Hill at or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like