After The Crossfire – UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs Story

It was a night of upsets starting with the main event at UFC Fight Night in Stockholm, Sweden.

Rick “The Horror” Story took advantage of favourite Gunnar Nelson’s passiveness in the later rounds to win a split-decision victory.

The fight appeared to be not as close as the scorecards indicated. Judge Jim Bergman even scored the bout for Nelson.

Nelson started with a strong first round, but Story kept the pressure on and moved forward from that point onwards.

Nelson humbly acknowledged defeat afterwards in the post-fight octagon interview, complimented Story and vowed to learn from the fight.

Dennis Siver and Charles Rosa secured the Fight of the Night, while Max Holloway and Mike Wilkinson were awarded Performances of the Night.

Each fighter secured a $50,000 USD bonus.

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

MMA Crossfire

MMA Crossfire Experts Cassie Wiseman and Kenai Andrews:

Cassie Wiseman

MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman. She is a martial artist with over six years of study. Training primarily in South Korea, the proud Canadian from Roberts Arm, Newfoundland has black belts in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and proficient in Muay Thai kickboxing. Image courtesy Steve Bartlett

 

UFC Fight Night 53

NIKLAS BACKSTROM VS MIKE “THE WARRIOR” WILKINSON 

UFC Fight Night

Mike Wilkinson of England knocks out Niklas Backstrom of Sweden with a series of punches in their featherweight bout at the Ericsson Globe Arena on October 4, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: NIKLAS BACKSTROM VIA SUBMISSION

WISEMAN PREDICTION: NIKLAS BACKSTROM VIA SUBMISSION

WINNER: MIKE WILKINSON VIA TKO

ANDREWS: Wilkinson’s motiviation to prove Backstrom wrong won the fight for him. Full marks to him for taking the Swede’s best shots and coming back strong.

WISEMAN: These guys started trading really early in the fight, Backstrom connecting with front kicks and Wilkinson just pushing forward. The surprise was how quickly things ended with Wilkinson connecting on a counter right after taking a front kick to the face. Crazy! Everyone was booing Wilkinson as he wasn’t the hometown favorite, but a great performance with the KO finish.

ILIR “THE SLEDGEHAMMER” LATIFI VS JAN BLACHOWICZ 

UFC Fight Night

Jan Blachowicz of Poland punches Ilir Latifi of Sweden in their light heavyweight bout at the Ericsson Globe Arena on October 4, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ILLIR LATIFI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

WISEMAN PREDICTION: ILIR LATIFI VIA TKO

WINNER: JAN BLACHOWICZ VIA TKO

ANDREWS: Beautiful debut performance for the flagship of Polish MMA. I did not expect him to figure out Latifi like that. Excellent left legkick to the liver that made the overwhelming favourite shut it down.

WISEMAN: You talk about an upset. Wow! While only in the feeling out process of the first round Blachowicz connected with a body shot that ended the fight for Latifi. Blachowicz was smart to swarm over Latifi after the liver shot for the TKO finish. Incredible performance.

AKIRA CORASSANI VS MAX “BLESSED” HOLLOWAY

UFC Fight Night

Max Holloway punches Akira Corassani of Sweden in their featherweight bout at the Ericsson Globe Arena on October 4, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA TKO

WISEMAN PREDICTION: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

WINNER: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA TKO

ANDREWS: Corassani started out fast, but Holloway weathered the storm and took over with his technical striking. And he is only 22-years-old.

WISEMAN: I was impressed immediately by the movement of Corassani, his ability to get inside the reach advantage of Holloway, and get in and out of the pocket. However, the precision striking of Holloway is at a different level. When Corassani was hurt, Holloway just swarmed all over him, connecting with each shot. Amazing showing by Holloway for a TKO finish.

MAIN EVENT

#12 GUNNAR “GUN” NELSON VS RICK “THE HORROR” STORY

UFC Fight Night

Rick Story punches Gunnar Nelson of Iceland in their welterweight bout at the Ericsson Globe Arena on October 4, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: GUNNAR NELSON VIA SUBMISSION

WISEMAN PREDICTION: GUNNAR NELSON VIA SUBMISSION

WINNER: ROCK STORY VIA SPLIT-DECISION

ANDREWS: I feel Gunnar Nelson played into Story’s hands by not being aggressive enough on the feet or the ground, and allowing Story to pile on the points on the feet. I have to give full credit to Story, he put in an outstanding performance and he proved me wrong in my prediction. Gunnar said he’s going to learn from this, and I think he will.

WISEMAN: What a performance by Story. I had Nelson taking the first round as he owned the center of the octagon and did more damage. However, it was all Story from the second round on. He was able to move out of range for most of the strikes from Nelson, scored takedowns, had ground-and-pound, and constantly moved forward. Nelson, considering it was his first time going 5 rounds, was able to hold up well. He was able to connect throughout the fight, but Story just threw more and dominated more. I didn’t have it as a split decision, but fantastic fight regardless.

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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