UFC Fight Night 153 will take place in Stockholm next weekend and whatever happens could have huge implications for the Light Heavyweight division. On the card are six potential contenders hoping to build enough momentum to be chosen to fight champion Jon Jones, widely considered the greatest talent in Mixed Martial Arts.
Alexander Gustafsson will be hoping that a home crowd can get him back on track after his last fight, a loss to Jones in December. Gustafsson previously fought Jones in 2013, in a closely matched contest that many observers thought he had done enough to win. In Gustafsson’s way is Anthony Smith, a tough contender also coming off a loss to Jones.
Gustafsson is heavily favoured to win, with William Hill offering odds of 3/10. Smith is available at 5/2.
Light Heavyweights Queuing Up…
Also hoping to book a date with Jones are Jimi Manuwa and Aleksandar Rakic. After an impressive performance in March 2017 in London, many thought Manuwa might have what it takes to reach the highest levels of the sport. However, his career, and UFC contract, are in jeopardy after sustaining losses in his last three fights. By contrast, his opponent Rakic is on a three fight winning streak. Manuwa is currently at 7/4 with Rakic at 4/9.
Finally, we have Volkan Oezdemir and Ilir Latifi, the 7th and 9th ranked light heavyweights in the world. Oezdemir is also coming off three losses, and will be desperate to recapture his scintillating form of 2016-17. In a very tightly matched bout, Oezdemir is marginally favoured at 17/20, with Latifi at 19/20.