UFC Fight Night 109 main card matchups

3A breakdown of the fights on the main card of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 109 card at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Alexander Gustafsson (17-4) vs. Glover Teixeira (26-5)

Class: Light heavyweight

Line: Gustafsson -325

Storyline: As long as Jon Jones remains inactive and Anthony Johnson stays retired, Gustafsson and Teixeira technically remain as the top two contenders to Daniel Cormier’s title. Gustafsson is the rightful favorite to still be in the mix after they meet Sunday. He’s incredibly athletic and makes good use of his exceptional length. Teixeira has been so successful for so long, but finds himself in a difficult spot against such a talented opponent in what will be a very hostile environment. This could be Teixeira’s last real shot as a legitimate title threat. Gustafsson has close losses to both Jones and Cormier. He has been relentlessly pursuing rematches with both and needs an impressive win to accomplish that goal.

Hill’s Pick: Gustafsson by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Gustafsson by fourth-round knockout

Volkan Oezdemir (13-1) vs. Misha Cirkunov (13-2)

Class: Light heavyweight

Line: Cirkunov -450

Storyline: Oezdemir scored a somewhat surprising split-decision win over Ovince Saint Preux in his UFC debut in February and will look to follow it up as he draws another difficult assignment. Cirkunov may prove to be too big of a step up, however. Cirkunov is a rising star in the division. After a contract squabble, he is back in the mix and ready to make a title run. He is an explosive athlete on his feet and possesses exceptional grappling skills honed from a successful judo career. This co-main event spot on Fox Sports 1 should serve as a showcase for Cirkunov to kick off his new six-fight deal in style.

Hill’s Pick: Cirkunov by second-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Cirkunov by third-round submission

Peter Sobotta (16-5-1) vs. Ben Saunders (21-7-2)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Sobotta -115

Storyline: An intriguing matchup featuring two fighters who have returned to the UFC after being released and then finding success back out on the regional circuit. Saunders has actually been released twice, but has won five of his last fights overall with four of the wins coming in the UFC. Sobotta has gone 3-1 in the UFC since his return. Both fighters are very skilled on the ground. While Sobotta has an edge in pure jiu-jitsu ability, Saunders is as creative as they come on the mat. Saunders should have a decided edge in the standup, however. He is accurate with his kicks from the outside and lethal with his knees in the clinch. He has a tendency to fatigue, so he’d be wise to try to end the festivities early.

Hill’s Pick: Saunders by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Saunders by decision

Abdul Razak Alhassan (7-0) vs. Omari Akhmedov (16-3)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Alhassan -230

Storyline: It would be almost impossible for Alhassan to have done any better than he has against the seven fighters who have had the unfortunate luck of being locked in a cage with him so far in his career. Seven fights, seven knockouts within the first 90 seconds. Only five of those opponents have lasted more than a minute. The raw power is absolutely remarkable. The list of victims really is not. Akhmedov is far from an elite fighter, but will be the toughest matchup of Alhassan’s career by a wide margin. Fortunately for Alhassan, Akhmedov will more than likely be willing to engage in a slugfest. Akhmedov does have the capability of taking him down, though, and that would seem to be worth a shot despite Alhassan’s judo background. It certainly seems like a better idea than just trading punches. This will either serve as a true test for Alhassan or show that he may truly be for real.

Hill’s Pick: Alhassan by first-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Akhmedov by second-round knockout

Oliver Enkamp (7-0) vs. Nordine Taleb (11-4)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Taleb -400

Storyline: Taleb is a very technical striker who trains with Georges St. Pierre at Tristar in Montreal. He was expecting a showdown with Emil Meek, but Enkamp agreed to step in on late notice to make his UFC debut after Meek suffered an injury. Enkamp could be quite dangerous with nothing to lose in his home country. Taleb is disciplined and talented, however. He should be able to stick to his gameplan and find a path to victory.

Hill’s Pick: Taleb by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Enkamp by decision

Jack Hermansson (14-3) vs. Alex Nicholson (7-3)

Class: Middleweight

Line: Hermansson -165

Storyline: Hermansson, a former Cage Warriors champion, is a native of Sweden who will be fighting in his native country for the first time. He is a well-rounded middleweight who tends to be more comfortable on his feet. Nicholson has gone 1-2 in three middleweight fights, but the losses have come to pretty quality competition. He has competed at both heavyweight and light heavyweight and has now settled in at 185 pounds. This should actually be a close matchup with Hermansson getting a slight bump for fighting in Sweden.

Hill’s Pick: Hermansson by decision

Fang’s Pick: Hermansson by second-round submission

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: UFC 222 recap
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC 222
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the main card fights including Cris Cyborg keeping her title, Bryan Ortega's win over Frankie Edgar and Sean O'Malley fighting through an injury.
UFC 222: Fight Preview
Covering the cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang provide a preview for UFC 222 as well as their predictions.
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the top fights to watch for at UFC 222 including Cris Cyborg and Brian Ortega.
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.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like