UFC Fight Night 109, otherwise known as UFC Stockholm, went down Sunday in Stockholm, Sweden at the Ericsson Globe. With a main event of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira, and another key light heavyweight bout between Misha Cirkunov and Volkan Oezdemir, the card promised to be a showcase for the 205lb division.
The Fight Pass prelims started bright and early, 10AM EST stateside.
Marcin Held vs. Damir Hadzovic
A lightweight bout between former Bellator MMA star and leg lock specialist Marcin Held and Bosnia’s Damir Hadzovic opened the preliminary portion of the card. The first round saw a fair amount of action on the feet, with Held peppering Hadzovic with upper cuts and the Bosnian fighter leading with knees. A knee in the clinch, however, led to Held securing the inevitable takedown, and bringing the fight into his world. From that point Held worked to control position and find an opening to lock in a submission, while Hadzovic attempted to fend him off. The Bosnian, however, was unable to escape, and soon found himself with Held on his back.
Round two opened with another takedown from Held, who quickly worked to pass into guard as Hadzovic tried to use the fence to work back to his feet. The end result, however, was Held on his back. Upon shaking Held off, Hadzovic was able to press his opponent up against the cage as the pair clinched. A break allowed him to attempt a leg kick, which was caught and resulted with Hadzovic once again on his back. Held managed to pepper in some ground strikes among his submission attempts, and finished the second round controlling the back.
It was all Held through two.
Then in the third, an unbelievable turn of events. Right off the first exchange, Held moved to roll in for a leg lock and was caught by a knee, floored. Hadzovic scores the huge come from behind win! Great start to UFC Stockholm.
Darren Till vs. Jessin Ayari
A welterweight tilt between England’s Darren Till and Germany’s Jessin Ayari was next up on the card. The first round saw Ayari open with leg kicks and press the action as Till circled away. Till then snuck in to land a jab that connected flush. Til would later land a left that seemed to catch Ayari by surprise. The English fighter continued to press, landing more consistently, and throwing in a head kick that was blocked. Ayari moved in and initiated a clinch, but things didn’t go any better for him there and they quickly broke. Till then secured a takedown, but could not hold the German down for long. A sweep led to Till taking the back, as Ayari scrambled back to the feet. Ayari challenged Till with a number of looping overhands; Till answered with a straight left.
Round three saw a rejuvenated Ayari on the attack, pressing the action. Ninety seconds in he opted to shoot for a takedown, but Till was able to defend. That sent them back to the center of the cage. Till then worked in some kicks, but seemed to have lost a step. Ayari continued to lunge in when launching attacks, setting up a possible counter. Ayari whiffed with a head kick with just over a minute left, then ate a knee. Till then inadvertently poked the eye of his opponent. Once the action restarted, they would stay on the feet for the remainder of the round. Going to the scorecards, Till looked to be up at least two rounds.
UFC Fight Night 109 Fight Pass Prelim Results:
Damir Hadzovic def. Marcin Held by KO (knee), Round 3, 0:07
Darren Till def. Jessin Ayari by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)