After three weeks out of our lives, the UFC returns this Saturday. UFC on Fuel 9 broadcasts live from the very cool-sounding Ericsson Globe Arena in The City That Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stockholm, Sweden.
Even if Sweden native Alexander Gustafsson can't make it because of injury, there's plenty of intrigue on the card, in my opinion. If light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi stays on the card, I'll be interested to see what the semi-phenom does in his UFC debut.
So where are the locks on the card? What do we know will happen on Saturday night? Let's take a look, why don't we?
Poor Adam Cella.
On The Ultimate Fighter, Uriah Hall put him on the undesirable end of one highlight-reel finish.
The Swedish Troeng—a violent fighter with 11 of 15 wins by stoppage—is coming off a surprising knockout loss of his own on TUF. He'll put himself on the right side on April 6, taking advantage of a Cella who will come out either too passive or too aggressive, and making sure Cella stays in the "cellar," if you will, of the UFC.
Reza Madadi experienced some bad judging mojo in his last bout when he lost a controversial decision to Cristiano Marcelo. Something tells me he won't let this one go the distance if he can help it.
He'll have a golden opportunity to leverage his finishing powers on Saturday. The Iranian-Swede is a tough-as-nails submission grappler, with seven of his 12 wins coming by way of the tap. Meanwhile, opponent Michael Johnson is more than a little vulnerable in that area, with five of his seven pro losses happening by submission.
Sometimes it's just a case of simple mathematics.
I once heard Phil De Fries described as "one of Great Britain's better heavyweight grapplers." That's a little like being one of Nebraska's better marlin fishermen.
He's had some decent wins, I guess, but De Fries is not exactly dynamic in there. He's also prone to the knockout, with both of his losses coming by T/KO, and both of those T/KOs coming, give or take, in the past calendar year.
Meanwhile, Matt Mitrione has four of his five pro wins by knockout. What's more, with two consecutive defeats, he definitely has his back against a corner.
And nobody puts Meathead in a corner.
Nothing against Akira Corassani, but Robbie Peralta is one accidental headbutt removed from a perfect 3-0 record in the UFC, and he should keep it going Saturday night.
As it is, Peralta will have to settle for a 2-0 (1) mark and a three-and-a-half-year unbeaten streak. Much of that success is because of his knockout power.
Corassani is himself a banger, and will probably not shy away from a firefight. But in so doing, he might as well set his head on a teeball stand.
Ryan Couture's UFC contract is made of bubble gum and bailing wire. If you went back and moved one hair to another place, it would probably fall apart.
Randy's son made the Octagon thanks in part to a dicey decision win over K.J. Noons in the final event of the Strikeforce promotion. He looked OK in the effort, but unless you count an accidental headbutt, he didn't do much to get Noons' attention.
Pearson should be able to cut off the cage, stalk Couture down and finish him off in relatively short order.