This weekend the UFC finally returns with a fully-stocked live event lined with talent including co-headlining clashes between Brian Stann-Alessio Sakara and Alexander Gustafsson-Thiago Silva. However, MMA fans digging down a little deeper instead of simply scratching the surface of UFC on Fuel 2 will encounter a few gems on the preliminary portion of the show too. Though the bouts lack the luster of their main card counterparts, further examination reveals each has the same potential to dazzle inside the Octagon as any other match-up set for Stockholm.
Eric Wisely vs. Jason Young
Both of these fighters have shown a good deal of potential, even in losing efforts against superior opponents. Young debuted against Dustin Poirier and then got Michihiro Omigawa in his follow-up fight, taking both to decision, while Wisely gave Pat Healy all he could handle despite being the much smaller fighter, as well as holds wins over Hermes Franca and Matt Veach. They’re high-energy, high-risk competitors and should open the card up right.
Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
Both middleweights are relative newcomers to the UFC with Cedenblad making his debut and Carmont only having fought under the Zuffa banner a single time. Still, each is worth keeping an eye on, as success in this fight should lead to bigger/better things for the winner. Carmont trains with Georges St. Pierre and showed as such in his impressive showing against Chris Camozzi at UFC 137, while Cedenblad has come out with victories in ten of his last eleven fights including seven straight (not to mention nine finishes in the bunch).
Cyrille Diabate vs. Tom DeBlass
DeBlass will be fighting in the UFC for the first time in his career against Diabate, the seasoned Savate-styled striker. He’s 7-0 and trains out of Ricardo Almeida’s gym, indicating he’s likely ripe with potential even if overmatched on paper in the pairing. That underdog status alone adds intrigue where the fight is concerned. Diabate has more than 3X DeBlass’ experience not to mention a wealth of kickboxing bouts to rely on. However, he would be foolish to enter the match-up without approaching DeBlass like a major threat. Diabate has lost two of his last three fights and is 38-years old. He’s backed into a corner career-wise so “The Snake” needs to strike as it were.
Other than these trio of tilts there are also a number of other interesting bouts worth giving some attention to like Papy Abedi-James Head and Rezi Madadi-Yoislandy Izquierdo. Since the event is in Sweden live prelims start on Facebook at approximately 12:30 PM EST this Saturday instead of later in the afternoon as it might be were the show Stateside. Make sure to tune in and catch what might be the beginning of the next contender’s run, the last appearance of a familiar face, or even Fight of the Night.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC