UFC Fight Night 109 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Stockholm
It worked out well for the locals. Gustafsson picked up a massive victory by knocking out Glover Teixeira in the fifth and final round of the main event. The win moves him back into contention at 205 pounds.
Another light heavyweight emerged, and it was not Misha Cirkunov. Instead, Volkan Oezdemir knocked out the rising light heavyweight to take his spot among the elite in the division. In a division desperate for new life, any new name is a sight for sore eyes.
But who truly exited Stockholm as a real winner or loser?
That's what we are here to decipher. Let's break it down and find just who truly should be feeling great on their way home from Sweden, or who should be more solemn following their loss. Here are the real winners and losers from UFC Fight Night 109.
Winner: Alexander Gustafsson
Through four-plus rounds, I was not willing to give Gustafsson a spot on the winners and losers following the event in Sweden. His performance wasn't awe-inspiring enough in a fight where he was clearly the superior fighter.
Then he finished Teixeira.
Gustafsson had concerning moments. A prime example was turning his back and running away. However, Gustafsson also had moments of clear technical proficiency with his combinations. Those combinations touched up and eventually finished a dogged Teixeira.
This performance against Teixeira is the performance to thrust him back into title contention. Given his name value in the division and his past title fights with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson is undoubtedly in a position to be the next challenger. It's more likely he'll have to fight Jimi Manuwa or Oezdemir next, but he has a good claim even if the UFC wants to put him right into the next title fight.
That makes him a very big winner.
Oh, and he got engaged in the cage after the bout. Congrats, Mauler!
Winner: Glover Teixeira
He may have lost the fight, and he may never be a contender again, but Glover Teixeira is tough as nails.
Unfortunately, that means he took a lot of punishment. Again. But it goes to show how courageous Teixeira is. There is not an ounce of quit in him. He continually comes forward and throws haymakers looking for the stoppage. He is intent on getting the victory at all costs, even when he is outmatched.
Teixeira embodies the warrior spirit we hear so much about. It's a bit saddening to watch him get bloodied, battered and knocked out. Still, he deserves praise.
We didn't see some of Teixeira's prime years due to a visa issue that kept him from competing in the United States, but we can still appreciate all of his hard work. He's left a lot of blood and sweat in the Octagon for our enjoyment.
Winner: The Light Heavyweight Division
Hello, Mr. Oezdemir. Welcome to title contention.
A narrow win over Ovince Saint Preux made Volkan Oezdemir a top-five light heavyweight, and a knockout over a much-ballyhooed opponent in Sweden should put him right in the mix for a title shot. The logical next step would be a title eliminator against Jimi Manuwa, but with Manuwa cageside in Stockholm, Oezdemir failed to call him out.
That misstep aside, Oezdemir has come from out of nowhere to become one of the top light heavyweights in the world.
Another fight or two and he could find himself opposite the champion with a chance at becoming the division's new king.
The light heavyweight division won with his victory. It needs new blood, and he is most certainly that. In a division clamoring for any new contender, this was a welcome surprise.
Loser: Misha Cirkunov
The hype train that Misha Cirkunov was on got derailed.
This matchup seemed, on paper, to be the best route for the light heavyweight contender—a thought-to-be-overranked opponent in Oezdemir whom he matched up well against. It did not turn out to be so.
The loss is damaging to Cirkunov's immediate title contention hopes, but in the shallow waters of the division, it won't send him tumbling into obscurity. He will still have his chances to move back into the top end of the division thanks to the putrid state of 205. That's his silver lining.
Regardless, what a crushing defeat.
Winner: Peter Sobotta
In potentially the performance of his career, Peter Sobotta got rid of Ben Saunders inside of two rounds.
Sobotta hurt Saunders in the first but couldn't quite put the veteran away early. He would continue the onslaught in the second. With Saunders hurt, a final knee would signal the end of the contest.
Sobotta is a quality fighter who needed a big performance such as the one he put together on Sunday. It was a signature win that will give him a bit more stature in the division.
The win moves Sobotta to 4-1 in the UFC with back-to-back victories. Perhaps it's time for yet another step up the ladder after the decisive performance.
Winner: Jack Hermansson
It's always nice to get a win at home, but it's even nicer to get it by way of first-round stoppage.
It's even better to get it over someone who utters racist comments (Warning: NSFW language).
The victory got Jack Hermansson back in the win category and moves him forward in the division. Hermansson has good size and skills. A performance like the one on Sunday will get him noticed more and get him bigger fights. He may not have championship-level skills just yet, but his continued progression will make him an intriguing fighter to watch.
Winners: UFC Fans
More afternoon cards please.
Fans not having to stay up until 1 a.m. ET for a fight card is a glorious thing. These international cards allow for fans to catch some fight action with their breakfast and/or lunch and go about their day. Is there anything better?
There's not a good reason the UFC cannot do more of these afternoon cards even stateside. It's a good fit for smaller events.
Loser: Marcin Held
Marcin Held exited Bellator for the UFC. The move was a moderate loss for the UFC's competitor, but the move never paid off for the Polish grappler.
Held would lose back-to-back decisions to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon before his third attempt in Stockholm on Sunday.
Held was on his way to winning after taking the first two rounds. It looked as if he would pick up his first UFC victory. Seven seconds into the third and final round, that would go away emphatically. Damir Hadzovic corked him with a knee as Held was going for an Imanari Roll and knocked him out.
A 0-3 record in the UFC and a highlight-reel KO loss most likely signal the end of Held's UFC career.
UFC Fight Night 109 Full Results
- Alexander Gustafsson def. Glover Teixeira by KO at 1:07 of the fifth round
- Volkan Oezdemir def. Misha Cirkunov by TKO at 0:28 of the first round
- Peter Sobotta def. Ben Saunders by TKO at 2:29 of the second round
- Omari Akhmedov def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Nordine Taleb def. Oliver Enkamp by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jack Hermansson def. Alex Nicholson by TKO at 2:00 of the first round
- Pedro Munhoz def. Damian Stasiak by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Trevor Smith def. Chris Camozzi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
- Joaquim Silva def. Reza Madadi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Bojan Velickovic def. Nico Musoke by TKO at 4:37 of the third round
- Darren Till def. Jessin Ayari by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)
- Damir Hadzovic def. Marcin Held by KO at 0:07 of the third round