As soon as the event was locked in, a host of Swedish stars contacted the UFC’s matchmakers, asking them to “Take a Chance on Me” and put them on the card.
Four established Swedish stars will step out under the bright lights to compete on home soil, desperate for a win. They know the “Name of the Game”.
They know the crowd will see them as “One of Us”. And they’ll be hoping home-field advantage will propel them to a huge victory so they can beg on the microphone for the UFC brass to “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!” a post-fight bonus.
That’s probably more than enough lame ABBA puns for one article, but so here’s your quickfire guide to the Swedish stars looking to deliver a hit of a performance and move their way up the UFC charts.
The three-time title challenger needs to re-establish himself as “the guy” at 205lbs after suffering a third defeat in a world title fight.
“The Mauler” is in a tricky spot. He’s too big to contemplate dropping down to middleweight, but probably too lean to move up and be a serious factor as a heavyweight, so 205 is his only feasible division.
But all the while Jon Jones is knocking around, he may have to content himself with being the No.1 contender. That status is now very much under threat and he’ll have to defend it when he faces the latest man to fail to beat Jones, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
Smith will be stung by his uncharacteristically tepid performance against Jones, while Gustafsson will be looking to stamp his authority on the division once again.
HIT OR MISS: The fight will be a hit, but it’s a coin-flip, so we’re not 100% sure who for!
The explosive brother of fellow UFC star David Teymur has delivered plenty of exciting action so far in his UFC career. But, the one thing it hasn’t brought him, so far, is a win.
Teymur has fought three times inside the octagon and lost all three fights, with the last two coming by way of submission.
And the challenges don’t get any easier for Teymur as he prepares to fight on home soil this weekend. South Korea’s Sung Bin Jo is undefeated at 9-0, with all nine wins coming inside the distance. Even more concerning for Teymur fans is the fact that he has four submissions and five KOs on his record, meaning he’s equally happy to put his man away on the mat or on his feet.
Throw in the pressure of competing on home soil after three successive defeats and it’s fair to say Teymur’s back is against the wall. Will he wilt, or will he win?
HIT OR MISS? Most likely a miss. Teymur will need to crack Sung early if he’s going to get the job done. Bu,t if he lets the South Korean get into a rhythm, he’s likely to suffer a fourth defeat in-a-row.
ABBA sang about “The Dancing Queen”, but Swedish MMA has “The Elbow Queen”. That’s Lina Lansberg’s fighting moniker, and it’s a very appropriate one.
Lansberg is one of those fighters whose fights always seem to turn into a bloody war (for male athletes, check Jack Marshman). Sometimes she wins, sometimes she loses, but she’s always competitive and as gritty as they come.
In Stockholm she faces veteran Tonya Evinger in a bout that has her set as the betting underdog.
Lansberg has alternated wins and losses through her UFC tenure to date, but Evinger hasn’t earned a win in the UFC yet. Something’s gotta give, but who will get the W?
HIT OR MISS? The fight could well be a sleeper hit. Both are as gritty as hell and it could turn into another bloody Lina Lansberg war. And if it does, don’t be surprised to see “The Elbow Queen” getting her arm raised at the end of it.