UFC on Fuel TV 2 Recap: Alexander Gustafsson beats Thiago SilvaPosted on April 14, 2012, 05:02 PM by Mike Drahota
Alexander Gustafsson was granted the opportunity of a lifetime, and delivered for his hometown fans in Sweden. He faced Thiago Silva, who had only previously lost to Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans, with a great gameplan and striking accuracy. Earning a decision victory, Gustafsson took advantage of a first round uppercut that knocked his opponent down. Silva never quit coming forward the entire bout, but seemed to be just a step behind Gustafsson's quick in-and-out style. The victory was the biggest of the young Gustafsson's career as he shoots up the Light Heavyweight ladder.
The co-main event bout started out just as promised, with both Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara willing to stand in the pocket and trade. Stann got the best of early exchanges, landing punches and some very effective knees. Alessio Sakara weathered the storm though visibly hurt, and the fight went to the ground. After some striking in top position Stann put his opponent to sleep with an elbow and two brutal ground shots.
The Welterweight fight between Paulo Thiago and the debuting Siyar Bahadurzada ended almost before it started. As Thiago rushed in, highly-touted striker Bahadurzada caught Thiago with a short right hand on the button. Thiago was knocked out instantly, and the skills of “The Great” now extend to the UFC. His 42 second knockout while moving backward was an exciting way to record the first knockout of the evening.
In a Featherweight bout that marked the debut of Dennis Siver into the class, he and Diego Nunes had a closely contested kickboxing war. Both attempted many impressive high kicks, knees, and spinning back kicks. Siver and Nunes were throwing everything in their striking arsenals, and the bout never touched the ground. In the end, Dennis Siver had a large cut over his eye but was awarded the decision victory.
The trend of submission victories from the preliminary card continued in the first two bouts of the main card from Sweden. First Brad “One Punch” Pickett had an exciting fight against Damacio Page. After trading back and forth, Pickett was able to rock Page with punches before taking the fight to the ground and finishing it with a rear-naked choke. Next up John Maguire fought Damarques Johnson in a Welterweight bout. Both fighters had their respective chances in this bout, but it was Maguire's night. In his UFC debut, Maguire foiled a kimura attempt by Johnson with an excellent transition into a finishing armbar. The entire card from Sweden featured high-level jiujitsu and submissions as a whole.
The inaugural UFC event in Sweden delivered on all fronts, with both highlight reel knockouts and many submissions. It is safe to say UFC on Fuel TV 2 was a great success. What will the event hold for the future of the UFC? Many young up-and-coming fighters showed slick submission skill in Stockholm tonight. Who should Siyar Bahadurzada fight next? Brian Stann may find himself back near the top of the Middleweight division after his brutal knockout of Alessio Sakara. Perhaps he may face Michael Bisping soon. Finally, who will Alexander Gustafsson fight next after his hometown victory? No doubt near the top of the heap amongst Light Heavyweights, is he deserving of a title shot in the near months? Can he beat Dan Henderson, and does he actually have a shot against Jon Jones?
Lowkick.com UFC on Fuel TV 2 Main Card Awards:
Fight of the Night: Brad Pickett vs. Damacio Page:A back-and-forth battle that featured power strikes and great wrestling, both fighters showed a lot of heart here. In the end, Pickett sank the hooks in for a great submission victory.
Performance of the Night: Brian Stann: Stann came to battle against an extremely game opponent in Alessio Sakara and came out victorious. His power appeared second-to-none in this bout, the only question mark that remains in his game is wrestling.
Submission of the Night: John Maguire: Maguire displayed extremely high-level jiujitsu in submitting Demarques Johnson with a vicious armbar. The fact that he stated the kimura was his move and he was ready for the counter shows the great submission IQ of the debuting John Maguire.
Photo: Anton Gurevich