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UFC Fight Night Stockholm: Gustafsson vs Smith Odds and Picks

UFC Fight Night Stockholm: Gustafsson vs Smith Betting Odds

The UFC heads to Europe for its first event in Stockholm, Sweden in two years and the event is headlined with a bout in the light heavyweight division. Former title contenders Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson and Anthony “Lionheart” Smith will collide, with both of them coming off losses to current champion Jon “Bones” Jones. Gustafsson is a -315 favorite with Smith coming back at +245.

Gustafsson vs Smith Fight Center

Shark Bites
  • Anthony Smith is 6-2 in his last eight fights.
  • Alexander Gustafsson averages 4.01 strikes per minute.
  • Anthony Smith absorbs 4.31 strikes per minute.
Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
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Alexander Gustafsson vs Anthony Smith

Gustafsson (-315) is looking to get back on track following yet another loss in a title fight. The Sweden native is just 3-4 over his last seven bouts, but three of those losses came in championship bouts, one to Daniel Cormier and two to Jon Jones. His other loss was a knockout defeat vs Anthony Johnson.

The Mauler is a tremendous boxer who has exceptional footwork and outstanding cardio that allows him to put a pace on his opponents that sucks away their will and causes them to wilt the later the bout goes. He averages 4.01 strikes per minute while making his opponents miss 51 percent of their strike attempts. If he is feeling any pressure on his feet, he has the ability to drag fights to the floor, averaging 1.63 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Smith (+245) is coming off his first loss since moving to the light heavyweight division in June of last year. Lionheart was stopped by Thiago Santos in February 2018 at middleweight and made the jump in divisions immediately after, parlaying three consecutive wins into a shot against Jon Jones. He lost that bout after going the full five rounds at UFC 235 in March.

The 30-year-old has a ton of experience as this is his 46th professional fight and he is 6-2 over his last eight fights. Smith has real thunder in his hands with 17 of his 31 pro wins ending in knockout. However, he absorbs 4.31 strikes per minute and makes his opponents miss on just 43 percent of strike attempts. Lastly, he stuffs just 50 percent of takedown attempts against.

Gustafsson is the much better striker but doesn’t have the power that Smith does, rather he is constantly throwing combinations and uses crafty boxing angles to beat up his opponents until they crumble. Conversely, Lionheart has real knockout power in his strikes and if he gets in a clinch, he utilizes short elbows and knees to do damage. I think The Mauler has all the necessary tools to get the win.

Prediction: Alexander Gustafsson (-315) via decision

Gustafsson vs Smith Fight Center

Volkan Oezdemir vs Ilir Latifi

*This fight is off as Latifi suffered a back injury*

Oezdemir (-120) is looking to end his career-long three-fight losing streak and earn his first win since July 2017. “No Time” stormed onto the UFC scene with three straight wins in just five months, including two knockout victories that needed only a combined 1:10, which earned him a shot at then-light heavyweight and current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. He lost that title fight, which started his three-fight slide.

The Switzerland native has tremendous power and is able to land short strikes in the clinch to put his opponents away. He is always the aggressor in fights, looking to close the distance where he can do some damage in tight. One issue that tends to rear its ugly head at times is his cardio as he tends to slow after the first round and that continues the further the fight goes.

Latifi (-110) is looking to avoid his first-ever losing slide as he is coming off just his second loss over his last seven fights in the UFC. “The Sledgehammer” overall holds a 7-4 record in the Octagon with two of those losses coming to current Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi and current Bellator light heavyweight and heavyweight champ Ryan Bader.

The 35-year-old is a very difficult fighter to compete against because of his short, thick stature that allows him to have a great defensive wrestling pedigree and he has never been taken down in the UFC. Additionally, he is very strong and uses his strength to secure takedowns and work toward submissions or loading up on powerful strikes.

Latifi has been knocked out three times in his career and he typically likes to counter powerfully when his opponents throw a strike. However, he is vulnerable to eating body shots that slow him as fights progress, although he hides it well. Volkan will pressure early on but will have to be careful to not get taken down and lose all of his energy early.

Prediction: Ilir Latifi (-110) via submission

Oezdemir vs Latifi Fight Center

Jimi Manuwa vs Aleksandar Rakic

Manuwa (+160) is aiming to put a stop to his career-long three-fight losing skid and earn his first victory since March 2017. Two of those losses came by knockout to title contenders Volkan Oezdemir and most recently Thiago Santos at UFC 231 in December. Prior to this slide, “Poster Boy” was 6-2 in the Octagon with five wins ending by knockout.

The 39-year-old has real knockout power that has resulted in 15 of his 17 professional wins ending in that manner. However, four of his five pro defeats were also knockouts and he lands 3.44 strikes per minute while absorbing 3.99. He doesn’t have a lot of head movement and often stands a little flat-footed just looking to load up on every strike.

Rakic (-200) is looking to remain undefeated in the UFC, seeking his fourth straight win since his debut in September 2017. Overall, the Austrian lost his first pro fight in 2011 and has rattled off 11 straight victories since then. Most recently, he earned a first-round knockout victory over Devin Clark, his first finish in the Octagon.

He is a tall fighter and he fights long by utilizing his kicks to keep his opponents at bay. Rakic also has great head and foot movement that helps him to absorb just 1.61 strikes per minute while dishing out 5.31 strikes per minute of his own. His fight IQ lets him adjust the pace and dictate whether he wants to keep the fight standing or take it to the floor.

Rakic likes to throw lower-leg kicks to slow his opponents and open up opportunities to let his hands fly. However, when he does so, he tends to drop his hands, which leaves him vulnerable to powerful counters. Manuwa is fantastic at eating shots and firing back in counter situations and he doesn’t need too many opportunities to put his opponents away. Poster Boy does have some issues with his cardio and we have seen Rakic go three hard rounds before, so if the fight drags, the momentum swings in his favor.

Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic (-200) via knockout

Manuwa vs Rakic Fight Center

Makwan Amirkhani vs Chris Fishgold

Amirkhani (-110) is looking to begin another winning streak as he returns to the Octagon for the first time since roughly this time last year. “Mr. Finland” began his UFC career with three straight victories, including two finishes, one by submission and the other by knockout. He lost his fourth fight in a close split decision to Arnold Allen before winning a split decision over Jason Knight in his last bout.

The 30-year-old doesn’t give his opponents a lot of room to breathe, constantly stalking forward looking to close the distance so he can get his hands on them. He averages 3.84 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed multiple takedowns in each of his last three bouts. He fights with an edge as well, gaining confidence as fights progress, then taunting his foes with his hands by his side, daring them to storm forward so he can bring the fight to the floor.

Fishgold (-120) is seeking his first winning streak in the UFC after collecting his first win in the Octagon in February. Things didn’t go as planned in his debut as he was knocked out in the first round against Calvin Kattar, just the second loss in his pro career. However, he rebounded nicely with a second-round submission triumph over Daniel Teymur just three months ago.

The England native has one objective in a fight and that’s getting the fight to the floor so he can work toward a submission. Fishgold is aggressive in searching for the takedown and he put on a tremendous performance against Teymur in February, dragging him to the floor five times in just under two full rounds. On the feet, he throws just one strike at a time, typically a long, overextending strike to try to close the distance.

Both fighters have fantastic wrestling and submission skills with a combined 22 submission victories over their combined 32 wins. Amirkhani has a little more confidence in his hands, often disrespecting his opponents by standing with his hands by his side, but he was taken down three times in his loss to Allen and Fishgold will be just as aggressive trying to bring the fight to the floor.

Prediction: Chris Fishgold (-120) via decision

Amirkhani vs Fishgold Fight Center

Damir Hadzovic vs Christos Giagos

Hadzovic (-170) seeks his third straight victory in the Octagon following his second-round knockout over Polo Reyes in February of this year. “The Bosnian Bomber” dropped two of his first three fights in the UFC before rattling off back-to-back victories and two of his three wins in the Octagon have been by knockout.

Hadzovic is an active, aggressive fighter who uses a lot of head movement, constantly bobbing left and right while marching his opponents down into striking range. Due to the consistent movement, he is able to make his opponents miss 68 percent of their strike attempts as he doles out 3.42 strikes per minute. One fault in his striking seems to be that he doesn’t throw many combinations, typically just throwing one shot at a time until he finds an opportunity to really let his hands fly.

Giagos (+140) is searching for his first winning streak in the UFC following his unanimous-decision win over Mizuto Hirota in December of last year. This is the second stint in the UFC for “The Spartan” after he was cut following a 1-2 record from 2014 to 2015. In his return to the Octagon in September last year, he suffered a second-round submission loss to Charles Oliveira.

The American is very light on his feet and switches stances smoothly. Although he likes to be the aggressor, he’s not typically the first one to throw a strike but likes to throw a flurry of strikes after his opponent engages. He also has a tendency to drop his head when he throws his strikes, which could leave him open to an uppercut, but if his foes get close enough, he usually goes for a takedown.

Hadzovic had a real issue stopping the takedown in his fight with Alan Patrick in February 2018 as he was dragged to the floor nine times, and he was dragged down four more times in his prior fight. This could be an issue in this bout as Giagos landed five takedowns in his last fight. The Spartan will likely be the more aggressive fighter, throwing many strikes and good variance between punches and kicks, but the Bosnian Bomber has more power.

Prediction: Christos Giagos (+140) via decision

Hadzovic vs Giagos Fight Center

Daniel Teymur vs Sungbin Jo

Teymur (+120) is searching for his first win in the Octagon and trying to put an end to his three-fight losing slide. “Kid Dynamite” had a perfect 6-0 record before his UFC career with three wins by submission and three wins by knockout. However, in the Octagon, he is 0-3 with one loss by decision and two by submission.

The Sweden native has really good kicks and does his very best to back his opponents into a corner where he can mix up his kicks and punches. He tends to be a little slow to react when his opponents engage with him and he absorbs 4.99 strikes per minute. It almost seems as though he is loading up for the perfect strike and stands a little flat-footed looking to do so.  

Jo (-150) is making his Octagon debut and in doing so lays his perfect 9-0 record on the line. “Korean Falcon” has finished all nine of his fights with five ending in knockout and the other four by submission. This is the first time he enters the cage since February of last year when he earned a fourth-round TKO victory over Jun Young Hong at TFC 17.

The 26-year-old is extremely light on his feet, constantly bobbing back and forth on the balls of his feet with an almost sideways karate stance. He doesn’t do a great job moving his head despite his footwork. He does his best work in the clinch as he is a little slow at reacting to strikes at distance but fires back with an onslaught of strikes of his own when he counters.

This is a perfect matchup for striking as Teymur likes to push the pace and get in his opponent’s face, while Jo prefers to stay active on the outside and storm forward with a flurry of counter-strikes. I think Korean Falcon is the faster of the two fighters but both guys have a little bit of difficulty picking up punches. I do like that Jo throws multiple strikes at a time and has really good cardio.

Prediction: Sungbin Jo (-150) via submission

Teymur vs Jo Fight Center

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night Stockholm: Gustafsson vs Smith:

UFC Fight Night Stockholm: Gustafsson vs Smith
  • Alexander Gustafsson -315
  • Anthony Smith +245
Odds as of May 31 at Bovada
  • Volkan Oezdemir -120
  • Ilir Latifi -110
  • Jimi Manuwa +160
  • Aleksandar Rakic -200
  • Makwan Amirkhani -110
  • Chris Fishgold -120
  • Damir Hadzovic -170
  • Christos Giagos +140
  • Daniel Teymur +120
  • Sungbin Jo -150
  • Tonya Evinger -300
  • Lina Lansberg +230
  • Stevie Ray +170
  • Leonardo Santos  -210
  • Nick Hein -115
  • Frank Camacho -115
  • Bea Malecki -125
  • Eduarda Santana -105 
  • Darko Stosic -115
  • Devin Clark -115
  • Joel Alvarez -115
  • Danilo Belluardo -115