UFC Fight Night 37 took place on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London and Alexander Gustafsson made a statement in the main event with a second round TKO victory over Jimi Manuwa in their light heavyweight contest.
Following a first round where he took Manuwa down and spent much of the period working from half-guard, attempting submissions, Gustafsson rocked Manuwa with a knee inside the clinch and finished him off with a barrage of brutal uppercuts.
For the second time in his UFC career, Gustafsson (16-2) has followed up a loss with a finish in the second frame, while Manuwa (14-1) received the first blemish on his record.
Johnson outpoints a hesitant Guillard
Michael Johnson controlled the pace and out-struck Melvin Guillard, who fought cautiously in each round, en route to winning a unanimous decision with two judges scoring the fight 30-27 and the other one having it 29-28 in his favor.
Although Johnson showcased fantastic timing, both with his striking offense and defense, Guillard’s questionable performance, or lack thereof, stole the spotlight in the lightweight tilt.
Johnson’s (15-8) stock at lightweight is beginning to rise again as he continues to showcase improved striking and the victory against Guillard was his third straight. Guillard (31-13-2, 2 NC) only has two official victories in his last eight fights.
Pickett makes a successful flyweight debut
In his UFC debut at flyweight, longtime bantamweight Brad Pickett used his wrestling to score much-needed takedowns to win a closer than expected decision over Neil Seery.
Seery was a game fighter, contesting with Pickett on the feet, but he was unable to prevent Pickett from taking him down and scoring points. The bout wasn’t without controversy as early in the third round, Seery landed a punch in the eye of Pickett, which is a legal strike if it’s a closed fist, and Pickett complained about it, leading to referee Neil Hall thinking that Seery poked Pickett in the eye and stopping the bout momentarily to give Pickett an unearned time-out.
Pickett (24-8) has only won a decision, unanimously, four times in his 32 fight career. Seery (13-10) was unable to extend his four fight winning streak, the longest streak in his career, in his UFC debut.
Nelson shows no sign of rust in return
Icelandic welterweight Gunnar Nelson did not look like a fighter who has been away from the cage for over a year in his first round submission victory over Omari Akhmedov.
Following a few exchanges on the feet, Nelson brought Akhmedov to the ground and dominated the fight from there. Nelson was able to quickly obtain the mount position and unload with punishing ground and pound, until he caught a scrambling Akhmedov with a fight-concluding guillotine choke.
Nelson (12-0-1) now has wins via submission to his name and has finished ten of his fights in the first round. Akhmedov’s (12-2) win streak of eleven was snapped with the loss
The complete UFC Fight Night 37 results are below.
Main Card: (Fight Pass)
Alexander Gustafsson def. Jimi Manuwa via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:18
Michael Johnson def. Melvin Guillard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Brad Pickett def. Neil Seery via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Gunnar Nelson def. Omari Akhmedov via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:36
Preliminary Card: (Fight Pass)
Ilir Latifi def. Cyrille Diabate via submission (neck crank) – Round 1, 3:02
Luke Barnatt def. Mats Nilsson via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:24
Claudio Henrique da Silva def. Brad Scott via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Igor Araujo def. David Mitchell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Louis Gaudinot def. Phil Harris via submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 1:13