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Siyar Bahadurzada impresses in debut at UFC on FUEL TV 2

Alexander Gustafsson soars over Thiago Silva in main event


Sam Morris

Alexander Gustafsson celebrates his first round knockout of Vladimir Matyushenko during their fight at UFC 141 Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Note: Full results from the card are listed at the bottom of the page.

Charging forward with lowered hands counts as one of the biggest mistakes a fighter can make.

It’s an even greater offense against an opponent with as much power as Siyar Bahadurzada, a UFC welterweight newcomer. Bahadurzada got his career in the octagon off to a blistering start at UFC on FUEL TV 2 Saturday in Stockholm.

He put veteran Paulo Thiago to sleep with a short right uppercut 42 seconds into their main card bout to register a first-round knockout victory.

“The fans wanted to see a fight,” an overwhelmed Bahadurzada said immediately afterwards. “And I wanted to give them a fight.”

Bahadurzada — who was born in Afghanistan before escaping the war-torn country to move to The Netherlands with his family — had made a name for himself in mixed martial arts over the last five years outside of the UFC.

UFC on FUEL TV 2 was Bahadurzada’s chance to establish his name in the sport’s elite promotion. He succeeded masterfully, out-shining everyone else on the card — including Swedish native Alexander Gustafsson, who won a unanimous decision over Thiago Silva in the main event.

One punch left Thiago limp and collapsing to the ground with Bahadurzada standing over with his hands raised in shock. The UFC awarded Bahadurzada a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for the performance.

“I think my right hand is broken,” Bahadurzada said on the telecast. “Ten minutes before the fight, I think I broke my hand. But I didn’t even go to the doctor. I don’t want to know if it’s broken. I wanted this so badly. I thought, ‘even if I broke my right hand, I will fight.’”

That’s how much an opportunity in the UFC means to fighters, even heralded ones like Bahadurzada, who have spent their careers elsewhere. The 25-year old Gustafsson has made the most of three years in the octagon, notching his fifth straight win Saturday.

Gustafsson used his speed and reach advantage to fluster Silva and nearly scored a knockout in the first round. Silva recovered and stayed out of trouble the rest of the way, but ate a continued barrage of punches from Gustafsson.

“All I can say is I’m proud to fight here in my home country, my hometown, (in front of) my countrymen,” Gustafsson said. “It’s a big honor.”

In the co-main event, Brian Stann easily got past Italian boxer Alessio Sakara. Stann beat up Sakara with superior striking from the moment the fight started.

Stann finished Sakara with ground-and-pound strikes at 2:26 of the first round. As promised, Stann dedicated the victory to his deceased brother-in-law, Lou Ruspi, Jr.

Check below for results from the rest of the UFC on FUEL TV 2 fight card.

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Dennis Siver flexes during the weigh in Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Dennis Siver was successful in his featherweight debut, earning a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Diego Nunes. Contested entirely on the feet, the bout was extremely close and featured both men thriving at different times.

John Maguire submitted DaMarques Johnson with an armbar at 4:40 of the first round. The two fighters put on a grappling showcase, which ended with Maguire locking in the armbar as a counter to one of Johnson’s submission attempts. Maguire won the Submission of the Night award.

A hectic nine-minute fight between Brad Pickett and Damacio Page was an easy choice for Fight of the Night. Pickett prevailed by forcing Page to tap out to a rear naked choke at 4:05 of the second round. The bout was a brawl, taking place all over the octagon and featuring prolonged stretches of different martial arts disciplines.

Click to enlarge photo

Brad Pickett catches Scott Jorgensen in the air during their WEC bantamweight fight at WEC 50 inside The Pearl at The Palms Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in this file photo.

James Head, who works full time as a petroleum engineer in Oklahoma City, pulled off the biggest upset of the night. Head forced Swedish native Papy Abedi to tap out at 4:33 of the first round due to a rear naked choke after easily winning both the striking and grappling portions of the fight.

Cyrille Diabate got back on track by defeating Tom DeBlass via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) in a light heavyweight bout. DeBlass took the bout on 10 days notice, which clearly showed. After winning the first round, DeBlass gassed the rest of the way and couldn’t mount much offense.

Francis Carmont beat Magnus Cedenblad by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:42 of the second round in their middlweight bout. Carmont recovered from a disappointing first round, where Cedenblad trapped him on his back for much of the five-minute duration, to set up the submission with ferocious ground-and-pound strikes.

Lightweight newcomer Reza Madadi landed a total of one strike in his bout against fellow rookie Yoislandy Izquierdo. But it was enough. Madadi, the hometown fighter, submitted Izquierdo at 1:28 of the second round to much fanfare at Ericsson Globe Arena.

Norwegian Simeon Thoresen and Syrian Besam Yousef were high on action and short on defense during their eight-minute welterweight bout. Thoresen ultimately prevailed over Yousef by sinking in a rear-naked choke to win by submission at 2:36 of the second round.

Jason “Shotgun” Young won his first fight in the UFC after two failed attempts by defeating Eric Wisely via unanimous decision (30-28, 29-28, 29-28). Young, a British featherweight, mixed kicks and takedowns to impress the judges.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or Follow Case on Twitter at

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