The UFC heads to Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday for UFC Fight Night 109 and the main event is a light heavyweight bout between former title challengers Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira. Those two were scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 69 in June 2015, but Gustafsson pulled out of that fight due to injury. He is a -315 favorite this time in the MMA odds with Teixeira at +255. The over/under is 2.5 rounds. You can see the main card on Fox Sports 1.
UFC Fight Night 109 Gustafsson vs Teixeira Betting Prediction
Gustafsson (17-4), a Swede, fought twice for the UFC light heavyweight championship, losing narrow decisions to Jon Jones in 2013 and Daniel Cormier two years ago. Gustafsson took quite a beating vs. Cormier. The split-decision loss was bad enough, but Gustafsson took so much punishment he was put on medical suspension for six months.
It wasn’t until September 2016 that Gustafsson stepped back in the Octagon to face Jan Blachowicz at Fight Night 93. Gustafsson won by unanimous decision but hasn’t fought since. He was scheduled to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira two months later but was forced to pull out with a back injury.
Teixeira (26-5), who fell short in his 2014 title bid against then-champ Jones, had won three consecutive bouts and was inching toward another title shot before a knockout loss to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson last August. Johnson landed a devastating uppercut 13 seconds into the first round. Johnson flattened Teixeira with the shot, forcing the referee to call an early end to the fight. Teixeira then picked up a decision win over Jared Cannonier at UFC 208 in January.
Gustafsson is ranked the No. 1 contender in the light-heavyweight division and Teixiera No. 2. Gustafsson has long clamored for a second shot at either Jones or Cormier and he could earn that opportunity if he can pick up a win while competing in front of his home country fans.
Teixeira has shown an iron jaw and a willingness to slug it out with anybody on their feet. That could benefit him in this fight, considering Gustafsson will enjoy a three-inch reach advantage. Gustafsson’s range and ability to either take this to the ground or avoid the takedowns could be a major factor in his ability to win the fight.
“I think it could go all five rounds,” Teixeira said. “Of course, I always look to finish as quickly as possible, by submission or knockout. But Gustafsson is tough, and he’s difficult put away. So I’m thinking it will probably last all rounds.”
In the co-main event, two of the most promising prospects in the 205-pound division face off when Misha Cirkunov (13-2) looks for his fifth straight win as he takes on Volkan Oezdemir (13-1), who made an impressive debut with a victory over former title contender Ovince Saint Preux back in February. Oezdemir outworked “OSP” for 15 minutes and took a split decision upset in his promotional debut, giving him three straight wins after the lone loss of his pro career, which came at Bellator 115.
Cirkunov, a Latvian fighter of Russian descent who lives and trains in Toronto, has won eight straight fights, including his first four in the UFC. All four of his UFC wins have come by stoppage, as have all eight wins on his current streak, making him one the 205-pound division’s best up-and-coming fighters. He re-signed with the UFC in March despite Dana White saying he was “done” with the organization. Cirkunov is -440 and Oezdemir +340.
Gustafsson vs Teixeira Betting Pick: Both favorites
Gustafsson wins by KO/TKO and Cirkunov by stoppage.