Reza Madadi‘s last win was in April of 2013 heading into his matchup with Yan Cabral in May. At 37 year olds the Allstars Training Center fighter was coming off a loss and trying to become the oldest fighter to ever win a lightweight bout in the UFC. Overcoming all the odds against him, Mad Dog’s comeback stoppage TKO in the third round at UFC Fight Night 87 gives him mmaViking.com’s Nordic 2016 Comeback Fighter of the Year.
After spending 14 months of his life in prison, Madadi was fortunate to be signed back to the leading organization and the Stockholm based fighter was lucky not to be cut by the UFC after losing to Northern Irishman Norman Park in his one bout of 2015. The Dublin loss was a big setback for Madadi that was looking to make a statement that he was just as good as the fighter that once beat highly ranked American Michael Johnson.
Cobral started out strong early in his battle with the wrestler, and took the first round by securing a take-down late in the round. The Brazilian was a bigger fighter, dropping from welterweight, but Mad Dog grinded his way back into the bout and started to wear down the Brazilian late.
Both fighters were slowed by the 10 minutes of battle coming out to the third round but Madadi landed a huge uppercut when he needed it. The big punch lead to several unanswered shots and a finish over a dazed Yan Cabral at Ahoy Rotterdam, reviving Madadi’s career and finally returning to the win column.
Previous Comeback of the Year Winners :
• 2015 : Nicolas Dalby