MMA Viking continues its “Meet the Fighter” series with a familiar face in the popular Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi.  The Stockholm-based fighter faces Yoislandy Izquierdo on the prelim card of the UFC in Sweden. Let’s learn more about the one of Sweden’s fan favorites.

Reza Madadi (11-2 Overall, 0-0 UFC), Sweden

Reza Madadi Laughing
Madadi Enjoying a Training Session at HILTI

The Iranian born athlete, who moved to Sweden at the age 12, Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi is one of the many UFC debutants on the UFC’s Stockholm card. For years Madadi has been among the best lightweights in the Northern Europe. Currently the Hilti NHB fighter is the #2 lightweight on the MMAViking’s Nordic Top 5 Rankings.

“I don’t care if they hate me or love me, come see me get knocked down or knock down people” Madadi told MMA Viking. Madadi always one to get the crowd pumped up for his fights because of his polarizing character: mixture of arrogance, confidence, and toughness.

“It means the world to me. Being in the UFC is what I have been dreaming for since the first day.”

Reza Madadi at HILTI
At the old HILTI, Stockholm, among other UFC fighters Papy Abedi and David Bielkheden

Mad Dog got his UFC deal by beating three UFC veterans in a row. First The Ultimate Fighter wild man Junie Browning tapped out to Madadi’s guillotine choke in the second round. Then Brazilian Carlo Prater, who came in 15 pounds overweight, had no answer for Madadi’s chain wrestling. Lastly Madadi won a hard fought decision over highly regarded Rich Clementi at the Superior Challenge 7 event in Stockholm.

Madadi Versus Clementi for The SC Lightweight Belt

Madadi was supposed to make his UFC debut on the UFC on FX1 show in January of 2012 but the fight didn’t happen and now he gets to make his UFC debut in his hometown. Both of his career losses came early on: In 2006 Finnish wrestling powerhouse Ville Manninen decisioned Madadi in his first MMA fight and tough Englishman Peter Irving beat Madadi also by points in 2008.

Madadi is no stranger to the Octagon experience, as he was recently in the corner of fellow HILTI fighter Papy Abedi, and was alongside “Makambo” throughout the process. This should help with the Octagon jitters.

“I am a showman, and I want people to watch.”

Reza Madadi
Madadi Shortly After Scuffle with Clementi at SC 7 Weigh-in

Usually striking is the biggest asset of European fighters who compete on the highest level of MMA but this is not the case with Madadi who due to his superb wrestling skills as a human bulldozer. The 31 year old Madadi has been wrestling since the tender age of 10 winning numerous national titles in both freestyle and Greco roman wrestling before making the transition to MMA.

Madadi’s striking is technically sounds but he uses strikes mainly as a set up for his arsenal of different takedowns. On the ground he likes to soften his opponents with strikes and air tight top control before sinking in a crushing choke. Mental toughness and great physical conditioning are also among the strong points of Madadi.