Four of six fights end with tapouts on prelims in Sweden
The winners on the preliminary card of the UFC's debut in Sweden made sure Dana White has a tough decision to make when it comes time to dole out the Submission of the Night Award.
UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva took place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm on Saturday, and four of the six fights on the preliminary card ended with tapouts. But it was a rough go of it for most of the crowd favorites on the prelims, as three of the four fighters who are either from Sweden or train there lost their bouts.
Simeon Thoresen, Reza Madadi, Francis Carmont and James Head all picked up submission wins on the prelims, and Jason Young and Cyrille Diabate earned decision wins in fights that streamed on the UFC's Facebook page ahead of the Fuel TV broadcast.
Madadi, of Swedish and Iranian descent, had a close back-and-forth first round against Yoislandy Izquierdo. And though Izquierdo came out strong in the second round, Madadi was able to sink in a guillotine choke to force the tap. He was the only Stockholm fan favorite to pick up a win on the prelims, leaving the Swedish fans to hold out hope for main event favorite Alexander Gustafsson.
"He was better than I thought (on the feet), so I took it the ground, and you see the results," Madadi said.
Georges St-Pierre training partner Carmont picked up his seventh straight win and second in the UFC when he survived a close first round against Sweden's Magnus Cedenblad and he sank in a rear naked choke after several attempts early in the second round.
Diabate and Head both picked up upset wins on the prelims. Diabate survived a dominant first round from newcomer Tom DeBlass to win a majority decision. And Head closed out the prelims with a nice rear naked choke win over Papy Abedi.
Young opened the card with a decision win over Eric Wisely, and Norway submission wiz Thoresen submitted Besam Yousef, of Sweden, in the second round. An emotional Thoresen, who has 15 of his 17 career wins by submission, said he was glad to finally get a fight in the UFC.
"It's been my dream the last seven years and I finally made it," Thoresen said. "I'm so pleased. I felt he was ready to be finished."