2019 is now in the books and it was an eventful year for Nordic fighters in the UFC with plenty of highs and lows throughout. A total of 15 Nordic fighters fought across the year with 3 of those making the trip to the Octagon for the very first time.
Daniel Teymur and Jack Hermansson were both the most active throughout the year, each fighting 3 times. The “Joker” was recently named MMA Viking’s male fighter of the year for 2019 after his incredible year. The former Cage Warriors middleweight champion picked up big wins against David Branch and Ronaldo Souza, before dropping a loss to Jared Cannonier.
The most active nation was Sweden, with 9 Swedish fighters competing throughout the year totaling up to 16 fights this year. Denmark had 3 fighters competing while Finland had 2 and Iceland had 1.
Hermansson also tied with Lina Lansberg for the most wins, as both fighters signed off the year with two wins a piece. Lansberg had a perfect year going 2-0 with decision wins over Macy Chiasson and Tonya Evinger, earning her the 2019 Female Fighter of the Year.
|Fighter Name||Nationality||No. fights||Win||Loss|
|Mark O. Madsen||Denmark||1||1||0|
No need for judges
5 fighters managed to pull off a finish in the UFC last year. Mark O. Madsen and Bea Malecki secured their’s on the very first trip to the Octagon, leaving a big impression to what could come next year. Mark O. Madsen got it done early in his debut scoring the fastest TKO/KO of the Nordic fighters. It only took him 72 seconds to get the fight over and done with.
Hat tip to Jack who secured the fastest submission victory of the bunch. It took the Frontline Academy fighter 49 seconds to submit David Branch. Both Hermansson and Amirkhani were the only Nordic fighters to walk away with POTN bonuses for their efforts in getting their finishes.
|Makwan Amirkhani||Chris Fishgold, Win via Submission, R2 4:25|
|Jack Hermansson||David Branch, Win via Submission, R1 0:49|
|Mark O. Madsen||Danila Belluardo, Win via KO/TKO, R1, 1:12|
|Bea Malecki||Duda Santana, Win via Submission, R2 1:59|
|Damir Hadzovic||Marco Polo Reyes, Win via TKO, R2 2:03|
To top off the year, 4 fighters finished the year in the top 15 of the official UFC Rankings. Hermansson stormed into the highest position of the group finishing the year at 6th in the UFC Middleweight division. Gustafsson and Ilir Latifi both finished the year as top 15 ranked light heavyweights and finally Lansberg is the sole female to make the list as she reaches 11th in the Women’s Bantamweight rankings.
The region was visited twice by the UFC this past year. Sweden and Denmark hosted events totaling in 25 UFC for the region, 13 of which were finishes. Both events surpassed the 10,000 mark with the Stockholm taking in an extra 400k. It was the first visit for the UFC in Denmark, and the 6th trip to Stockholm.
|Event||Attendance||Total Gate||No. Fights||No. Finishes P/C|
Rostem Akman, Mark O. Madsen and Bea Malecki were the sole 3 fighters to debut this past year. However, following two losses “Kurdimus Prime” was cut from the UFC roster.
The show is over guys
One of the big shocks of the year was the retirement of Alexander Gustafsson, who retired following his loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Sweden. Gustafsson fought for the Light Heavyweight strap on three separate occasions during his time in the UFC. 4 of his fights earned FOTN honours, he earned one POTN bonus and won 2013 International Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards.
His first fight with Jon Jones earned UFC Fight of the Year, this same accolade was awarded to the fight by the World MMA Awards and ESPN. He finishes his career with a record of 18-6 with 14 of those wins coming by way of a finish. Although Gustafsson is retired he is still ranked as mentioned above. Many hold out hope that we will the return of “The Mauler”.
Overall it was a positive year with plenty of standout moments. The growing number of fighters from the region may yet again increase next year as well as attracting more events in 2020. Just one round away from the “Mauler” winning a UFC belt in the last decade… will the new decade see its first Nordic UFC champion? Can’t wait to find out!