Diego Gonzalez will vie for the Superior Challenge welterweight title. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
Sweden’s Superior Challenge has upped its tagline from “Nordic’s biggest MMA event” to “Europe’s biggest MMA event,” as the promotion has unveiled plans for its seventh iteration, “Rise of the Champions,” to take place at Stockholm’s Hovet arena.
Babak Aghavali, Superior Challenge CEO, recently confirmed four matchups and plans for welterweight, lightweight, and middleweight title bouts for the April 30 event.
In the first championship pairing, Swede Diego Gonzalez will challenge current welterweight title holder Daniel Acacio. Having compiled an eight-fight win streak before dropping a March 2010 decision to Akihiro Gono, Gonzalez will be return to the cage after a year layoff due to ACL surgery. Acacio captured the Superior Challenge belt in October with a controversial decision over Gonzalez training partner David Bielkheden, who will also feature on the card.
Reza Madadi, a promotional mainstay who has starred in five previous events, will seek to capture the promotion’s lightweight title against an opponent to-be-determined. Likewise, former UFC 185-pound title contender Thales Leites will vie for the vacant Superior Challenge middleweight belt against a yet-unnamed adversary.
Undefeated middleweight prospect Papy “Makambo” Abedi will also be on display. The 32-year-old judo black belt hopes to make the jump from Superior Challenge directly into the UFC, as Alexander Gustafsson did in 2009.
Junie Allen Browning will look to snap a three-fight losing streak in his return to Scandinavia, as the “Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 competitor takes on Stockholm’s own Navid Yousefi. Other notable fighters slated for the card include Swedes Assan “The Black Attack” Njie, Tor “The Hammer” Troeng, Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad, and Sirwan Kakai.