Daniel Acacio (top) vs. David Bielkheden: Patrick Jenkinson
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Swedish promotion Superior Challenge made significant changes for its sixth event, "Lion's Den," the biggest being the move from a ring to a cage. However, the card also boasted a line-up of current international stars that prompted the event's move to a bigger venue, Hovet, in the nation's capital.
In the main event of the evening, former Dream lightweight champion Joachim Hansen faced off with two-time Swedish Olympic wrestler Sami Aziz. The bout served as a featherweight title eliminator, with the winner earning a fight with champion Jameel Massouh next year.
Aziz used his wrestling to control Hansen early, smothering him against the fence and taking away his offense. However, Hansen was able to get off the cage, and force scrambles that saw both men trade top position. In the second round, Aziz put Hansen on the mat with a double-leg takedown but Hansen instantly sought an armbar. "Hellboy" worked on the submission methodically for 30 seconds, eventually forcing Aziz to tap out at 3:47 of the second round.
After the bout, Hansen revealed that he thought he had broken his hand in the first round and that it had hindered him in the stand-up with Aziz.
The Superior Challenge welterweight title was looking for a new owner and Brazil’s Daniel Acacio answered the call, taking a contentious split decision over UFC vet David Bielkheden.
Bielkheden was fighting from behind from the fight’s outset due to a disastrous first round. He was one step behind Acacio the whole round before referee Grant Waterman deducted a point from him for illegal upkicks while Acacio was grounded.
In the second round, a revived Bielkheden took top control and won the round with clean, hard ground-and-pound from Acacio's guard. The third round was a thrilling back-and-forth five minutes, with each fighter spending time on top. Bielkheden reclaimed top position late, and as the time ticked away, he viciously pounded away on Acacio, approaching a stoppage as the final bell rang.
The judges awarded the split decision to Acacio, much to the surprise of Bielkheden and the Stocklholm crowd. It was the Swede's second loss in two weeks, coming off a surprising 36-second submission loss to Belgian Tommy Depret on Oct. 16 in the opening round of United Glory's welterweight tournament.
Bielkheden confirmed to Sherdog.com following the bout that he has filed a complaint over the decision.
Colorful Swedish lightweight Reza Madadi won a unanimous decision over an overweight Carlo Prater, who stepped into the bout on short notice. Though Prater's failure to make weight took Madadi's lightweight title out of contention, "Mad Dog" looked every bit the champion, landing overhand rights and putting Prater on the mat with powerful slams. Prater had no answer for Madadi’s attack, which frustrated the Brazilian veteran, and earned Madadi a clear unanimous decision win.
Former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites came in as a late replacement for the injured Murilo Bustamante and submitted Sweden's Tor Troeng. Troeng, who was undefeated in his last eight bouts, wasn't able to use his usual formula of strong wrestling and top control against the superior grappler. After the bell saved Troeng from a sure submission in round one, Leites finished the job in the second round, tapping him with a rear-naked choke at 3:33 of the stanza.
Hot Swedish prospect Papy Abedi stayed unbeaten, choking out Holland’s Nathan Schouteren 3:22 into the first round. Abedi dropped the Dutchman with a booming overhand left and then locked up a tight guillotine in the ensuing scramble. The powerful "Makambo" didn't even need guard to finish the choke, tapping Schouteren from his knees to move to 8-0.
Nicklas Backstrom def. Simon Skold -- TKO (Punches) R3
Andreas Stahl def. Niclas Danielsson -- Unanimous Decision
Danny Mitchell def. Nicholas Musoke -- Submission (Armbar) 1:56 R2
David Aranda def. Navid Yousefi -- Submission (Armbar) 3:14 R1
Hanna Sillen def. Maiju Kujala -- Majority Decision
Matti Makela def. Linton Vassell -- TKO (Punches) 4:10 R3
Hamid Corassani def. Graham Turner -- Unanimous Decision
Magnus Cedenblad def. Allan Love -- Unanimous Decision
Assan Njie def. Sean Salmon -- TKO (Punches) 0:41 R1