My UFC rain dance has worked! After a drought, UFC on Fuel 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva is finally upon us, and despite the rest of the MMA we’ve been treated to as of late I am more than happy to have some fantastic ZUFFA-based action back in my life. Taking place this afternoon in Stockholm, Sweden, the UFC’s first trip to the land of blue and yellow is bound to be a good one. Let’s get right down to business here.
Eric Wisely (19-7) vs. Jason Young (8-5)
Wisely looks for his first UFC win in Sweden and the competition couldn’t be much stiffer. The Team Conquest featherweight is a solid striker who is no slouch in other aspects of the fight. He takes on Young who, at 0-2 in the Octagon, is in dire need of his first UFC win. Young is a vicious striker who applies constant pressure but tends to get a little too excited and maybe over-commits to a lot of what he does.
I expect Young to work his striking to his advantage and perhaps even finish Wisely. Having said that, I have to look at styles here, and while Young has the advantage on the feet he lacks the ground game he needs to fight at this level and Wisely who even gave Pat Healy some trouble, should be able to take him down to likely finish him, if not grind out a decision.
Winner – Eric Wisely defeats Jason Young via Submission Round 3
Simeon Thoresen (16-2-1) vs. Besam Yousef (6-0)
A friend and training partner of Joachim Hansen, Thoresen comes into this bout a staggering fourteen submission wins in sixteen bouts. The Ultimate Warrior Challenge veteran is a serious threat on the ground, without question, and can be a handful for just about anyone. Undefeated Swede Yousef is out to put on a great performance as a fast starter with four fights ending in less than two minutes.
While the Norwegian’s chin could be called into question, it’s probably too early to tell, and honestly Yousef is not the most fantastic striker by any means. I expect the experience advantage, and the glaringly obvious grappling advantage, to come into play meaning Thoresen will submit Yousef.
Winner – Simeon Thoresen defeats Besam Yousef via Submission Round 1
Yoislandy Izquierdo (6-0) vs. Reza Madadi (11-2)
Undefeated Championship Fighting Alliance regular Izquierdo makes his big show debut in Stockholm after six solid fights to open up his career. Relatively well-versed in much of the MMA game, the ‘Young Tigers’ lightweight has some pretty flashy striking, heavy hands, amd a killer instinct that one has come to expect in MMA.
The hometown boy, “Mad Dog” Madadi is a tenacious fighter. With solid wins over Rich Clementi, Carlo Prater, and Junie Browning (ugh), in his last three fights, the Stockholm-based scrapper brings a solid ground game, good takedowns, and is relatively intelligent in the midst of a fight.
Lots of hype surround both men, and the heavy hands of Izquierdo are something to watch for, but Madadi is smart. I expect him to exploit his opponent’s one glaring weakness, take him down, and although has some great submissions, take him the distance in a punishing 15 minute affair.
Winner – Reza Madadi defeats Yoislandy Izquierdo via Unanimous Decision
Magnus Cedenblad (10-3) vs. Francis Carmont (17-7)
Another hometown boy, Cedenblad makes his UFC debut on the preliminary card. A vicious striker at times who once put together four straight TKO victories with his fists, has shown as of late that he has some solid grappling chops as well.
Comparably, the training partner of Georges St. Pierre, Carmont, looks for his seventh straight win and second inside the Octagon. “Limitless” is a solid fighter, whose losses could be attributed to being thrown to the wolves early, has come into his own as of late and has shown he is more than capable of being in the UFC.
The big factors here, in my opinion, are training camps, experience, and well-roundedness. Cedenblad is good, but Carmont is great. I expect the Frenchman to stifle whatever Magnus offers him, and probably delivers a serious ass kicking.
Winner – Francis Carmont defeats Magnus Cedenblad via Unanimous Decision
Cyrille Diabate (17-8-1) vs. Tom DeBlass (7-0)
At 38 years old, Diabate needs to put together some wins. 2-2 in his UFC campaign, the veteran French striker looks to rebound for a late 2011 loss to Anthony Perosh and he faces a tough challenge in Stockholm.
Highly-touted DeBlass, whose entire career has played out in Ring of Combat, finally makes his big show debut here. DeBlass is a BJJ black belt with some serious skills which will likely be on display.
Diabate, by all means, should win. Experience, reach, and skill-wise, he is the better fighter on paper, but I don’t think that will happen. Diabate’s ground game leaves a lot to be desired opening the door for DeBlass to take this fight to the ground and finish it quickly.
Winner – Tom DeBlass defeats Cyrille Diabate via Submission Round 1
Papy Abedi (8-1) vs. James Head (7-2)
Abedi was thrown to the wolves.. or the “Pitbull”, as it were, in his debut.. but don’t let that performance sway your judgement, Abedi is for real. The once-beaten Judo specialist looks to rebound from his not so fantastic UFC debut here and show people why he’s in there to begin with.
Head is a solid fighter in his own right. After rattling off five straight finishes to start his career, he has gone 2-2 in his last two and underwhelmed just about everyone in his UFC debut nearly a year ago. Looking for redemption, the large welterweight hopes to finally score his first UFC win.
Questionable gas tanks abound! Who will gas first? It’s all irrelevant, I suspect Abedi runs through Head. Don’t get me wrong, Head is solid and could very well win this fight,but I think it will be Abedi’s night. Takedown, ground and pound, dance around.
Winner – Papy Abedi defeats James Head via TKO Round 1
The prelims go down at 12:30 PM EST on Facebook, and boy oh boy, they sure do look awesome. Check back a little later for my look at the six fight main card.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC