UFC on FUEL TV 2: The Best YouTube Videos of the Event's Newcomers
With UFC on FX 2 in the books, the only thing keeping Zuffa MMA fanatics busy after Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey will be The Ultimate Fighter Live on FX next week.
With no other major MMA events to fill the void aside from Bellator Fighting Championships' sixth season on MTV2 and Epix in HD, we look ahead to UFC on FUEL TV 2 on April 14, featuring Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara in the co-main event and headlined by Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Underneath the two headliners is where it gets interesting, because a total of seven fighters will make their UFC debut at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm at the event, and while Siyar "The Great" Bahadurzada (pictured) fights on this card, the other six men are unknowns to many in the MMA world.
Without further hesitation, here is a look at Bahadurzada and the other six men involved in the UFC's debut in Sweden.
Reza "Mad Dog" Madadi (11-2 MMA)
Reza "Mad Dog" Madadi is a wild man, plain and simple.
He fights the way some guys act like they're going to fight, pushing the pace on his opponents and going in and out with shots just to throw his opponents off of their rhythm.
He's shown an active takedown game in fights, such as his bout with Christian Johansson,and has shown some good submission defense as well as some nasty ground-and-pound, but above all else is his overall intensity.
He's a good guy outside the cage, but as is the case with a lot of fighters, the fight often kicks off once the weigh-ins go down.
Once he stares you down, you better be ready to go.
Madadi's 6-0 since a unanimous decision loss to Peter Irving at SAS 7 in 2008, and that untouched streak goes up against Yoislandy Izquierdo's 6-0 record when the two lock up in Stockholm.
Speaking of Izquierdo...
Yoislandy "Cuba" Izquierdo (6-0 MMA)
Yoislandy Izquierdo was supposed to draw Bernardo Magalhaes on the last FUEL TV card, but those plans fell through when issues regarding the CFA, the organization responsible for four of Izquierdo's past six fights, prevented the fight from happening.
Even when taken down, "Cuba" looks for openings to submit fighters, and when fighters slip up on submission attempts like Chris Garcia did in the first round of his bout with Izuierdo, Izquierdo reacts with a meat-grinding ground-and-pound assault.
Izquierdo also demonstrates legitimate takedown defense, which often makes even the most honest attempts at a submission look as though they were never close, and even when he gets trapped in a good submission, he finds a way to escape the hold without having to tap and then goes right back to finding a method of clear triumph over his foes.
Against Reza Madadi, Izquierdo must look for a technical battle on the feet and he must stuff Madadi's takedown attempts in order to frustrate the Swede on home turf.
A frustrated Madadi won't land as much, if at all, against a calm Izquierdo, and unless Izquierdo comes in with fumes for a gas tank, Madadi might have difficulty finding the tap on a guy with the defensive skills of Izquierdo.
Simeon "The Grin" Thoresen (16-2-1 MMA)
Simeon "The Grin" Thoresen is 16-2-1 professionally, having lost his first pro fight after a 9-0 start in the sport.
His first pro loss came to 22-17 Eiji Ishikawa, a Grabaka fighter who has journeyed through Pancrase and DEEP.
The lone draw is thanks to Wand Fight Team finisher Michael Costa, and the only man to have knocked him out is now on a two-fight skid.
Still, Thoresen is a man whose best asset is his submission brilliance, and that brilliance has gotten him a career total of 14 submission wins, along with the honor of being the lone Norwegian on this FUEL TV card.
As it stands right now, Thoresen is slated to kick the card off against Besam Yousef, who lacks the experience of Thoresen but also has fought to one decision.
Besam Yousef (6-0 MMA)
Besam Yousef is a finisher.
He's only 6-0, but the local boy is known for two wins by a form of KO and three submission victories.
On the feet, he is good with landing knees inside the Muay Thai clinch and has a decent takedown offense.
On the ground, he prefers to lay in punches from whichever position he's able to maintain before finding a submission or TKO win.
He's thirteen fights younger than Thoresen, against who Yousef faces in a fight that will likely kick this card off, but as a local fight it could get the crowd going early.
This could prove to have been one of the best possible options as two of Scandinavia's finest collide inside The Octagon.
At the end of the day, though, will Thoresen's experience trump Yousef's fighter potential?
Magnus "Jycken" Cedenblad (10-3 MMA)
Magnus Cedenblad will give Francis Carmont something to worry about when they face off on the preliminary portion of this card.
Currently on a seven-fight win streak, the Swede brings an activeness on the ground that some may overlook at first, especially if they watch Sergey Nikitin's outing with "The Pooch."
Cedenblad got taken down early, but when he lost an armbar attempt as well as a transition to an omoplata, he spent time trying to hurt Nikitin with body shots while on the ground.
As quickly as Nikitin got back up and looked to try to get another takedown, it was Cedenblad that secured the takedown and the dominant position before eventually getting the back of Nikitin and forcing the tap by way of a rear naked choke.
Carmont knows about surviving difficult spots in the submission department, as is evident by his fight against Lukasz Jurkowski, where Carmont also worked well inside a tight guard and secured a rear naked choke of his own after capitalizing on one of Jurkowski's failed submission attempts.
Cedenblad prefers knockouts, as does Carmont—they have a total of twelve wins, combined, by way of a form of knockout—but if either man sees their chance to get a submission locked in, they will take it.
On Swedish soil, Carmont may play spoiler, but Cedenblad will make sure he's the one walking out with the win, regardless of how he gets it.
"The Last Viking" Jörgen Kruth (5-0 MMA)
Jörgen Kruth and his insane kickboxing have translated nicely into MMA.
After some time in the kickboxing circuit, Kruth spent much of 2009 assembling a nice 3-0 record, and after a win over Bob Sapp at Rumble of The Kings 2010, October of 2011 saw the return of Kruth to MMA, as he fought twice and won twice in 2011.
All of his MMA wins have been first-round finishes, with three TKOs, a submission win by punches, and a submission by triangle choke, and now Kruth gets Cyrille Diabate in Stockholm.
"The Snake" is coming off of a loss to Anthony Perosh at UFC 138, but like Kruth, Diabate is a former kickboxer as well, standing at 32-8-2 against Kruth's 71-14-2 record.
However, Saturday night is where the streak of bad luck continues for the French striker if he cannot put it all together, as Kruth's first venture at 205 could produce the sixth—and so far, the biggest—win of this kid's young career.
Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1 MMA)
Siyar Bahadurzada is the man many in the MMA world will need to watch on April 14th.
He recently left Golden Glory and his next move is unknown, but "Siyar The Killer" is a striking machine who also has shown an ability to submit fighters and go the distance with a few.
An injury postponed what could've been UFC 142's Fight of The Night and a potential Fight of The Year candidate between Bahadurzada and Erick Silva, but in Paulo Thiago, Bahadurzada faces a Jiu-Jitsu master with a strong amount of knockout power.
Bahadurzada knows how to deliver punishment on the feet about as well as he knows how to take it, which should provide all the more logic as to how this fight might potentially steal the show at UFC on FUEL TV 2.