April 14, 2012

The Highs and Lows of UFC Sweden

By Roy Billington

The UFC hit Sweden’s Ericssonglobe Arena on Saturday night for Scandinavia’s first ever visit by the worlds number one promotion. Luckily MMA Ratings was there to give you the lowdown on the event.

The Highs

The energy in the crowd on Saturday night was unlike any event I have ever been to, and we had some amazing fights. My highlight of the night was Damacio Page vs. Brad Pickett. I love watching the 135-pounders go to war, and Page and Pickett brought it. The two went toe to toe from bell to bell, and late in round 2, Pickett sunk in an amazing rear naked choke, and the crowd erupted in applause. It has taken a while, but the lower weight classes may have finally earned a spot in even the most casual of fan's heart.

The atmosphere in the crowd was amazing when Reza “MadDog” Madadi entered the Octagon. The crowd was electrified, and after the promotional debutant braved the early onslaught from his Cuban counterpart and got the win via Guillotine choke, there wasn’t a member of the audience who wasn’t on his or her feet cheering.

Siyar “The Killer” Bahadurzada lived up to his moniker when in 32 seconds he knocked out granite-chinned Paulo Thiago. Siyar is one of the best kept secrets in MMA, and “The Killer” is happy that his hard work has paid off, and he has been given the opportunity to showcase his skills in the UFC -- he certainly showcased them on Saturday night. Mark my words, Siyar is a nightmare for any 170-pounder stupid enough to stand with him.

Saturday night the hometown guy made good, as Alexander Gustafsson demolished a game Thiago Silva. As the lights went out in the arena and Gustafsson’s music began, the atmosphere was beyond belief. The whole arena shook as Silva and Alexander traded blows, but Saturday night was Alexander’s coming out party. He showcased his massive improvements, and if he keeps up his training with Alliance, I see him posing a serious threat to Jon Jones’ divisional domination.

The Lows

First off, I would like to make it clear that the Swedish are the most polite people I have came across (most attractive too, but that’s a whole other article). However, the organisation of the event left a little to be desired. I arrived at the Arena a hour before the doors opened and still didn’t get inside for a hour and a half. My seats were already occupied, and with no staff on hand to correct the situation, I was forced to run back to the entrance, and after 5 minutes I finally found some help.

I also have to eat my words a bit, because in a previous article I bigged up Tom DeBlass to the max, and he was soundly defeated. However, I stick by what I said. Tom will be a contender in the UFC, but maybe at 185 instead of 205. Tom cut 28 lbs in 13 days and fought -- that in itself is an achievement. Let's see how he does with a fullcamp before we dismiss him.

Make sure to keep checking MMA Ratings this week, as I have some big news to break.


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