Read on for UFC on FUEL TV 9 prelim results...
The bad blood between lightweights Reza Madadi and Michael Johnson was flowing freely in the days leading up to their UFC on FUEL TV 9 preliminary bout at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, but on fight day Saturday, it was Sweden’s own Madadi surviving a near knockout in the first round to submit Johnson in the third round.
The intensity both men showed during the previous day’s weigh in didn’t wane once the two entered the Octagon, with referee Marko Gyllenland having some difficulty keeping the fighters away from each other before the opening bell. Once the bout began, the pace was more measured than you might have expected, but each fighter did get in his share of shots early. With two minutes gone, Madadi got his first takedown of the bout, and the Swede quickly got to working his ground strikes before looking to sink in a leg lock. In an ensuing scramble, Johnson was able to escape and reverse position, but it was Madadi doing the more effective work from the bottom before Johnson reestablished himself in the top spot. With 30 seconds left, Johnson and Madadi rose, with Johnson almost knocking his foe out with a right kick to the head. Madadi quickly cleared his head though, making it to the bell.
“He got me, not 100 percent, 99,” joked Madadi of nearly getting knocked out.
In the second, Madadi turned the tables on Johnson, scoring the takedown, getting his foe’s back, and then moving into side control, where he unleashed elbows before “The Menace” made it back to his feet. With two minutes gone, Madadi got another takedown, and the elbows followed once again until the end of the round.
Madadi put Johnson down early in the third again, and this time, he finished the bout, sinking in the anaconda choke that produced a tap out at the 1:33 mark and prompted an ecstatic Madadi to run into the crowd to celebrate the biggest victory of his career.
With the win, Madadi improves to 13-3; Johnson falls to 13-8.
TROENG vs. CELLA
Umea’s Tor Troeng gave his home country fans plenty to cheer about in his middleweight bout with TUF 17 castmate Adam Cella, impressively submitting his opponent in the first round of a scheduled three.
The veteran Troeng showed off that experience as the fight opened, using his strikes to set up a takedown in the first minute. Moving slickly to side control, Troeng then took Cella’s back midway through the round, eventually sinking in a rear naked choke that produced a tap out at 3:11 of the first.
Troeng improves to 16-4-1 with the win; St. Louis’s Cella falls to 4-1.
Watch Troeng's post-fight interview
AMAGOV vs. SPANG
In a battle of Strikeforce vets, Adlan Amagov was in top form in his first fight as a welterweight, winning a shutout three round unanimous decision over Swedish striker Chris Spang.
All three judges scored it 30-27 for Amagov.
Amagov (12-2-1) was the aggressor at the start, scoring a flash knockdown of Spang with a kick to the body in the second minute. Spang looked to counter in response, but Amagov’s varied striking attack kept him from finding a rhythm, and the early knockdown plus a late takedown sealed the round for the Chechnya native.
Spang (5-2) finally went on the offensive in the second round, but Amagov silenced the crowd with a takedown as he pushed the Swede to the fence. Amagov controlled matters on the mat until referee Leon Roberts restarted the action with 90 seconds left, and his kicks and elbows kept him ahead on the feet until the bell.
After being told between rounds that he needed to make something happen in the final stanza, Spang stalked Amagov as the third opened, yet even as he countered, Amagov was the more effective of the two, mixing things up nicely as he moved around the cage. With under two minutes left, Amagov added to his lead with a takedown, control against the cage while standing, and finally a suplex, showing off a complete MMA game in his 170-pound debut.
McGREGOR vs. BRIMAGE
Heavily-hyped Irish featherweight newcomer Conor McGregor lived up to his advance notices in style, handing Marcus Brimage his first UFC loss in four outings via first round knockout.
Brimage took the fight to McGregor immediately, looking to end it with his fists early after some heated pre-fight trash talk before the bout. McGregor was cool under pressure though, jarring his foe momentarily with an uppercut and right hand. Moments later, McGregor struck with the left uppercut again, and this time Brimage was hurt and couldn’t recover, as he hit the deck. A follow up barrage of shots brought in referee Robert Sundel to halt the fight at 1:07 of the opening round.
With the win, McGregor improved to 13-2; Brimage falls to 6-2.
Watch McGregor's post-fight interview
RYAN LaFLARE vs. BENNY ALLOWAY
This was quite an entertaining scrap in which Ryan LaFlare was largely in the driving seat, but with a few scares along the way. The New York man’s UFC debut took place on the preliminary portion of the card and neatly showcased his takedown and top control skills.
Benny Alloway has a wrestling game of his own, and was often able to regain his feet after a scramble, only to find LaFlare stuck to him like glue and dragging him right back down. A few early submission efforts aside, Alloway was prevented from getting any offense going while on his back.
Being down on the scorecards by two rounds, Alloway knew he had to pull a stoppage off in the third. He went for a big head kick but nothing came of it, and the submission efforts he made in this round were forced rather than being opportune.
The 30-27 loss on all cards snaps a six-fight win streak for Alloway.
Michael Kuiper had success negating Tom Lawlor’s wrestling in the first round, so he felt confident he could secure a takedown of his own in the second round.
But it backfired spectacularly, as Kuiper’s double-leg effort put his neck in position for Lawlor to grab a guillotine. Lawlor jumped guard - always a risky move, but he is sure of his guillotine, and he hung on for nearly a full minute as he waited for it to sink in.
Kuiper’s disappointment was exacerbated by the fact that the first round had clearly gone his way. Stuffing Lawlor’s takedown efforts repeatedly, he had also managed to hit a couple of his own trademark judo trips and throws. Lawlor had been forced to fight off a submission effort and a barrage of ground and pound to make it to the end.
Tom Lawlor def. Michael Kuiper via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 2, 1:05
Two fellow Swedes opened the UFC’s return to Stockholm, as Papy Abedi went searching for his first Octagon win. His opponent Besam Yousef also needed a win, having lost his UFC debut a year ago on the organization’s first visit to Stockholm.
Abedi has previously leaned towards a striking game, but he was taking no chances in this one, operating a takedown and control game to negate any threat from his countryman. The result was a fight which, in action, didn’t reflect how dramatic the consequences would be for whoever lost.
Yousef spent most of the fight on his back looking for submissions and breaking Abedi’s posture down, while Abedi alternately played safe or tried to get some ground and pound going. There were prolonged stalemates as the two cancelled each other out and that was reflected in the final result, a split decision which saw judging decisions divided.
Two had it for Abedi by 29-28, while one had it for Yousef by the same score.