Scouting the Globe: The Five Best Prospects From Sweden

Sweden's Karl Albrektsson
Karl Albrektsson (right) def. Christiano Frohlich Credit: RIZIN FF

During this MMA hiatus, we’ve taken to scouting the globe and selecting five favorite prospects from each country for the most part. In this edition, we preview some of the top fighting prospects coming out of Sweden. Nico Musoke, Alexander Gustafsson, David and Daniel Teymur, Jack Hermansson, Lina Lansberg, and Magnus Cedenblad are all excellent fighters out of Sweden.

Welterweight, Khamzat Chimaev (6-0)

Khamzat Chimaev trains out of a top local gym in Allstars Training Center with the likes of Nico Musoke, Alexander Gustafsson, Ilir Latifi, the Teymur brothers and many more. He’s looked good in his MMA career thus far, and is a former welterweight and middleweight Swedish wrestling champion. Chimaev is a fast finisher with a 100% finish rate stopping all his opponents inside two rounds. He has heavy hands as shown on the feet with one-punch knockout power. He has also shown that his wrestling background works quite well in his MMA career. There is still a lot to see from him, but he’s beat pretty decent competition.

Light-heavyweight, Herdem Alacabek (5-1)

Herdem Alacabek is a promising prospect that trains with UFC light heavyweight Ilir Latifi. Alacabek has dominated in all of his professional bouts with his wrestling and superior grappling. He is a strong guy with the ability slam his opponents to the mat but in top position is where he does his best work. He has three wins via ground-and-pound while in a dominant position to go along with a pair of submission wins. He may be coming off a loss but I think is still one of the better prospects in his weight class.

Middleweight, Andreas Gustafsson (5-0)

Andreas Gustafsson is an absolute beast who rather resembles UFC fighter Mark O. Madsen. “Bane” is a powerhouse wrestler who enjoys the big body lock takedowns. His wrestling is spectacular and that includes his entrances, setups, raw power, and his excellent chain wrestling. The man is a huge problem on the mat as his ground and pound is constantly pouring down no matter what position he’s in. Gustafsson is all over his foes from start to finish always moving on the mat and always landing something. His cardio is solid as well especially with the pace he has. There hasn’t been an opportunity to see how his striking really is but he at least strikes well to close the distance. He’s indeed a problem.

Light-heavyweight, Karl Albrektsson (9-3)

Karl Albrektsson has only three losses in his career, all three to stellar fighters in Valentin Moldavsky, Phil David, and Jiri Prochazka. He has also beaten good competition such as former UFC fighter Josh Stansbury and top Bellator contender Vadim Nemkov. “King” has a background in BJJ and in Sanshou, in which he was the 2014 European champion. His weak point would be on the feet, as he’s often seen fighting too stiff. He excels on the mat though, looking better in each fight.

Flyweight, Amir Albazi (12-1)

Amir Albazi has an impressive record as a pro but was also the IMMA world champion as an amateur in 2015. He trains out of London Shootfighters with some top-notch fighters around the world. Albazi is solely a grappler, but with that, he has excellent takedowns utilizing trips and takedowns along the cage. He excels on the mat with his effortless grappling and high IQ. Albazi thrives in scrambles and holds seven submissions. He is high-level on the mat and although he hasn’t shown much on the feet, he hasn’t had to.