My predicted winners are highlighted in bold below:
Light Heavyweight bout: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva
Middleweight bout: Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara
Welterweight bout: Paulo Thiago vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Featherweight bout: Dennis Siver vs. Diego Nunes
Welterweight bout: DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire
Bantamweight bout: Brad Pickett vs. Damacio Page
Preliminary card (Facebook)
Welterweight bout: Papy Abedi vs. James Head
Middleweight bout: Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
Lightweight bout: Reza Madadi vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo
Welterweight bout: Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef
Featherweight bout: Jason Young vs. Eric Wisely
Alexander Gustafsson is fighting in his home town. With a record of 13-1, it would be hard to bet against him winning this one. Very strong on his feet and much improved takedown defence, I don't know what Thiago Silva is going to do against him. Silva has a record of 14-2, which is very similar to Gustafsson, but Silva hasn't fought in over a year and his last fight was a no-contest due to a failed drugs test. I do like Silva as a fighter, but I think that the combination of the long absence and fighting against a massive home crowd might be too much for him. Gustafsson for the win.
Alessio Sakara and all of his tattoos will be making a long awaited return to the Octagon. Injury after injury and illness and the death of his farther has caused him to miss a lot of UFC fights in recent times, but he is set to return. Last time out, he was controlled by Chris Weidman and lost a unamious decision. Though Brian Stann likes to stand and bang, he would be silly to not go for the takedown against Alessio Sakara. I like Sakara in terms of him having a great appearance, he loves to stand, but we'll have to see if his ground game has improved if he is to have a chance in this one. With a record of 15-8, he doesn't have the best record in the UFC, though as he did win 3 in a row up until recently, I think he is safe if a loss comes his way.
I don't have time to go into detail on my other predictions, but I am looking forward to a lot of fights on this card. Often when the UFC has gone away from America (north and south), the card has been weak. This was the case in the last few UK outings and particularly Germany. Sweden is very much an exception to the rule I think. Some quite big names, plenty of potential, but lots of exciting fighters and excellent match-ups.
Fight of the night for me is Dennis Siver vs. Diego Nunes. Also looking forward to Brad Pickett vs. Damacio Page, Papy Abedi vs. James Head and Paulo Thiago vs. Siyar Bahadurzada. I really do want to watch every fight on this card, including all the preliminaries.
I just hope that the Swedish crowd are up for this one. I suspect they will be.