While there were several Nordic events that highlighted young up-and-comers, established top prospects, or veterans, there was one that had them all. The card was Superior Challenge 11 that pulled in a living Scandinavian legend, UFC veterans, and the best local talent… the fights were awesome, too. Following in the footsteps of Fight Festival 31 (2011) and Superior Challenge 9 (2013), SC 11 is the 3rd winner of MMAViking.com’s annual ‘Event of the Year’ award.
The November 29 event at Södertälje’s AXA Sports Center was another new venue for the traveling Superior Challenge. The Swedish promotion went after the best available talent outside the Octagon, and landed Norwegian legend Joachim Hansen as the headliner for the featherweight title bout against Brazilian UFC veteran Diego Nunes. Old school fans came from around Scandinavia to see one of the most respected Nordic pioneers live.
Paul Amelia kicked off the event with a big right hand that dropped David Diaz started off the card with fireworks, and they continued throughout. The battle that showed there weren’t going to be any easy matchups for the locals was seen most with Fernando Gonzalez and Roberto Pastuch. Gonzalez found himself in a dogfight as the Swedish Top Team’s Pastuch did not back down. In the end it was a strong finish for Gonzalez, that also prepped at American Top Team, who damage Pastuch in the final frame to secure the victory.
Top Stockholm based prospects Max Nunes also let the local fans see future prospects that are headed toward the top. Power showed off his well rounded game as he dominated Patrick Vallee over 15 minutes. Undefeated Allstars Training Center teammate Frantz Slioa was also set for the card, before having to pull out due to injury.
While building a solid card is crucial, in order to to win the event of the year, the fights have to deliver… and Superior Challenge 11 did just that. Fernando’s cousin Diego Gonzalez put on the comeback fight of the night, as the Cage Warriors & BAMMA veteran, pulled off a guillotine choke late in the third round after getting battered throughout the fight on the feet. Max Duarte was also beating up Gladius MMA’s Besam Yousef, landing heavy blows until a dazed “Grumpy Cat” locked a darce choke finishing Duarte in the second round.
Pride and UFC vet David Bielkheden wasted no time in his bid to get back in the UFC with a kneebar finishing Florent Betorangal in the second round.
Bielkheden Talks About Win at SC 11
While it wasn’t what the local fans wanted, Diego Nunes KO’d Joachim Hansen to end the 12 fight card. Hellboy was in the fight, damaging Nunes with kicks, but in the end it was a huge right that silenced the crowd. Surprises and the unexpected are part of making a card of the year, and Superior did just that with the event ending stoppage.
For a complete list of 2014 awards so far and a history of the yearly winners.