Hurtsbad's UFC On Fuel Gustafsson vs Silva Previews And Predictions

Written by Hurtsbad MMA Analyst Ryne Krafthefer


After a month long layoff, the UFC is set to return to action featuring a stacked card on Fuel TV. The event will also mark the first time the UFC has hosted an event in Sweden, with the main event featuring Sweden’s own Alexander Gustafsson taking on the always aggressive Thiago Silva.


The original main event pitted the Swede against former Pride FC standout Antonio Rogerio Noguiera. However, Noguiera had to pull out of the proposed matchup due to a knee injury.


The main event is bound to generate excitement for fight fans as both fighters are known for their thrilling styles. Back that with the other five bouts on the main card, and you have an impressive night of fights that no fight fan should miss. Hurtsbad is going to break down the action and give their prediction for Saturday night’s fights.


Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva


Thiago Silva will finally make his return to the Octagon after being sidelined for 16 months due to a suspension stemming from his failed drug test after UFC 125. Silva is looking to put the suspension behind him and get a victory in his first fight back, however he faces a huge test in the up and coming Gustafsson.


“The Mauler” has won four straight and five out of six since joining the promotion. The Swedish fighter has the size to cause problems for anyone at Light Heavyweight, standing at 6’5” with a 77” reach. He will have to be cautious in this one though, as the Brazilian Silva is known for his aggressive style that can certainly break his opponent.


Silva implemented that style to perfection in his most recent bout against Brandon Vera. This one can certainly go either way, but there are a few questions surrounding Silva heading into the fight.


Gustafsson has been on a tear as of late and shows no signs of slowing down, having fought three times in 2011, finishing all three of his opponents. Silva however hasn’t fought in over a year and one has to wonder if his conditioning will be in tip top shape come Saturday night.


Silva, an American Top Team representative, has never shown a weakness in his conditioning but considering his recent layoff fans can assume he won’t look the same. Considering the layoff, Silva’s style could also backfire as he could easily tire early as he looks for a quick finish. Meanwhile, Gustafsson will do what he does best and find his range, utilizing varied kicks and punches to keep his opponent at bay. “The Mauler”, a Stockholm Shoot and Alliance MMA representative also has the grappling to fight off takedown attempts from the Brazilian.


Expect to see Gustafsson score often, with strikes and clinch work, constantly staying outside of Silva’s range. The Swedish fighter won’t be able to finish his opponent however, as the Brazilian is tough as nails having been previously finished only once in his career.


Hurtsbad has Gustafsson winning this one by unanimous decision.


Brian “The All-American” Stann vs. Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara


The co-main event is a middleweight bout which features two veterans of the UFC as former WEC Light Heavyweight champion Brian Stann faces off against American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara.


The matchup is critical for both fighters as each are coming off of a loss. Sakara is returning to action for the first time in over a year due to a torn ACL in his knee. “Legionarius” is 3-1 in his last four outings and could really use a victory to regain some momentum. Sakara lost his last fight against rising Middleweight star Chris Weidman, who stepped in on short notice. Sakara has the striking to stand and bang with the best, but his recent injury could play a major role in his fight against Stann.


As for Brian Stann, the former WEC champ was well on his way to a title shot before getting completely dismantled by the charismatic Chael Sonnen. The former Marine has shown significant improvement since debuting at middleweight two years ago, having won 3 of 4 at 185lbs. This fight is Stann’s to lose as he has all the right tools to defeat the Roman fighter.


Expect both fighters to look for a home for their jab early, throwing in a few crisp combinations as time goes on. Stann will be the first to land a big shot and will look for the finish, showcasing his ever improving striking. Sakara will try to respond with his boxing, but will be unable to weather the storm.


Hurtsbad sees Brian Stann stopping Alessio Sakara by TKO in the first round.


Paulo Thiago vs. Siyar Bahadurzada


The fourth fight of the evening is an intriguing Welterweight matchup as Brazilian fan favorite Paulo Thiago takes on UFC newcomer Siyar Bahadurzada. The majority of UFC fans don’t know much of Bahadurzada, as most of his fights have taken place outside the U.S. Siyar, a native of Afghanistan, has won six straight, with five wins coming by knockout. The Afghani trains with the famed Golden Glory team in the Netherlands, a camp that is known for producing top notch kick-boxers.


The UFC newcomer will likely have an advantage on the feet, but will have his hands full regardless as his opponent has consistently faced top talent in the UFC’s Welterweight division.


Thiago, a Constrictor Team representative, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt that holds notable victories over Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, and Jacob Volkmann. The Brazilian has 14 career victories with 8 of those wins coming by submission.


Expect Bahadurzada to come out strong, looking to prove himself inside the Octagon. The Afghani will assert himself on the feet, mixing powerful kicks and punches to the head and body of his Brazilian foe. Thiago will quickly realize he’s out classed on the feet, and will look to clinch with his opponent in order to secure a takedown.


Once the fight hits the mat, the momentum will swing in Thiago’s favor, as he will constantly hunt for a submission. Bahadurzada won’t be able to defend Thiago’s submission attempts and will be forced to tap out in the second round.


Hurtsbad has Paulo Thiago getting his second straight victory, defeating newcomer Bahadurzada via rear naked choke in the second round.


Dennis Siver vs. Diego “The Gun” Nunes


The third fight of the card on Fuel TV is a Featherweight affair featuring Diego Nunes taking on Dennis Siver, who is making his debut at 145lbs. Nunes trains with the Featherweight king Jose Aldo at the Nova Uniao camp in Brazil. Diego is known for his well-rounded striking and his ability to secure submissions on the mat.


His opponent, Siver, is dropping down in weight after an impressive run at lightweight that saw him defeat the likes of George Sotiropoulos, Spencer Fisher, and Matt Wiman. Siver has some of the best striking in the UFC, winning two of his previous fights by spinning back kicks to the body. The big question going into this one will be whether or not Siver is 100% following the weight cut.


Siver, a Russian born German, should be able to dictate the fight with his powerful striking. It is very unlikely that Diego finishes Siver, as the Nova Uniao representative has gone to decision in his last 8 fights.


Expect both fighters to trade shots early, utilizing their impressive kick-boxing. Siver packs more power behind his strikes, and will land the more significant strikes in the bout. “The Gun” will look to pull the trigger in the last round, but will be unable to finish his opponent. In the end, Siver will out strike his opponent to get the nod from the judges.


Hurtsbad has Dennis Siver winning this one by Split Decision.


DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire


Every fan loves a U.S. vs. U.K. matchup, and this one will be no different. Former Ultimate Fighter finalist DaMarques Johnson will lock horns with British submission specialist John Maguire.


The charismatic DaMarques Johnson has seen mixed results since his stint on the Ultimate Fighter, with a record of 4 wins and 3 losses inside the Octagon. Johnson has seen a massive improvement in his striking which he displayed in knockout victories over Brad Blackburn and Clay Harvison. The TUF finalist also possesses a solid grappling game, with 7 career victories coming by tap out. The American will want to keep this one standing though, as Maguire is a submission expert possessing a suffocating ground game.


Expect Maguire to shoot for the takedown early, looking to secure a submission. Johnson will scramble and get back to his feet, quickly asserting himself using crisp boxing combinations. Maguire, out matched on the feet, will desperately shoot for the takedown, eventually getting caught in the process.


Hurtsbad has DaMarques Johnson winning by TKO in the first round.


Damacio “The Angel of Death” Page vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett


The first bout of the televised main card is a Bantamweight bout between Damacio Page and Brad Pickett. Both fighters are coming off of a loss and could really use a win here. Page has not fought since March of last year, when he lost to former champion Brian Bowles.


Pickett was last seen in action against rising contender Renan Barao, losing by submission. Both fighters possess an all-out, high pace style that can sometimes break their opponent.


One has to wonder if the long layoff for Page will cost him in the later rounds. Both men are fairly even in the striking department, so the ground game could play a big role in this one.


This one could easily win fight of the night along with the main event. Pickett will showcase his crisp boxing throughout the fight, peppering Damacio with jabs and uppercuts. Page, a Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative, will secure the takedown at some point in the fight, scoring points with ground strikes.


Don’t be surprised to see a submission attempt or two in this scrap. Neither man will be able to finish his opponent, and the victory will be in the hands of the judges.


Hurtsbad believes Pickett will do enough damage on the feet to get the nod, winning by unanimous decision.


It’s going to be an exciting night of fights in Stockholm and the atmosphere will certainly be electric. The crowd will be loud and vocally supportive of their countrymen. This event is huge for the UFC as it will continue to build their relationship with Fuel TV as well as build a gateway to the rest of Europe for future events.


Fight fan or not, this is an event worth watching. Hurtsbad would like to thank you for your time and hopes you enjoy the fights, we know we will.

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Tags: ., Brian Stann vs Alessio Sakara, Gustafsson vs Silva, MMA, MMA News, Page vs Pickett, Ryne Krafthefer MMA, Siver vs Nunes, Thiago vs Bahudurza, UFC, More…UFC news, UFC on Fuel


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