Viking Blood – Scandinavians in MMA

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The Viking Age in Britain began some 1,200 years ago in the 9th Century AD. In the year 800 or thereabouts, bands of fierce raiders began to attack our coasts. They were the Vikings.

Skip to 2020, not a lot has changed. Although, a different generation, fierce warriors have laid their onslaught on the world of MMA. Some have shed blood in battle, some have conquered and won gold. I love it man. One thing they have in common with their Viking ancestors of old, is they come for battle.

Soren Bak

Who can forget the entrance at Cage Warriors 96? Where Bak came to Paddy Pimbletts home town of Liverpool, walking to the cage wearing animal fur carrying an ax to the music of the Vikings TV series. Bak left the battle victorious. With an MMA record of 14-1, he has a fierce record and thrives in the big fights. Some names on his resume include Stapleton, Jacobsen, Charriere, and Brazier. Bak has stepped in there with fighters at the top of their game and come out victorious.

Nicolas Dalby

Currently, in his second UFC spell, Dalby has come back stronger than ever. In his most previous bout, Dalby secured an impressive victory over Alex Oliveira. A fight he went into as the underdog, currently on a 4 fight win streak with wins over Allegretto, Mulpeter, Lahore the recently mentioned Oliveira, and a No Contest with Ross Houston. Dalby has earned the reputation of a very difficult man to beat this shouldn’t come as no surprise, who can forget the memorable draw with Darren Till in his first UFC stint? Many people will be interested to see what’s next for Dalby in a competitive Welterweight division.

Zebaztian Kadestam

The Swede Kadestam is known as ‘The Bandit’, has created a reputation as one of the most feared strikers in the welterweight division of One Championship. With a variety of deadly finishes to his name, many remember the deadly knee combo he used to finish Luis Santos, a fight he was said to be losing until that moment, or the huge right hand he used to put away Tyler McGuire to win the welterweight title. After Kadestam put away Tyler McGuire his defense came against Georgy Kichigin. Kichigin retired from the fight, and in turn, Kadestam retained the championship. However, Kadestam lost to Kiamrian Abbasov in his second title defense via decision. Surely it’s only a matter of time until Kadestam gets his rematch and his Championship back.

Emil Meek

If there was ever a fighter made in the image of a stereotypical Viking then that man is Emil Meek, from his impressive beard and nordic tattoos to his incredible physique, Meek has the look indeed. However, he also possesses the heart of a warrior that you would expect. Meek came to the UFC’s attention with the impressive finish over ex-UFC fighter Palhares in a fight where Meek managed to escape one of Palhares’ submissions before quickly finishing the UFC veteran.

Meek went on to win his UFC debut with a decision victory over Jordan Mein. Although Meek is currently on a 3 fight losing streak all by decision. To current champion Usman, to Fabinski and recently after a lengthy lay off to Matthews, in a close fight where Meek came back strong to the end of the fight. It is only a matter of time until we see the popular Norwegian Meek get back to winning ways.

Jack Hermansson

Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Jack Hermansson (blue gloves) after defeating Bradley Scott (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports

With a pro record of 20-5, winner of UFC submission of the year 2019. He fights against all the top talent in the division, Hermansson backs down from no man. He has a very impressive resume with fights against Thiago Santos who came so close to dethroning Jon Jones. In addition, Hermansson has also fought Leites, Souza, Cannonier and was due to fight Chris Weidman in May before the cancellation to COVID 19. Hermansson has his eyes on the middleweight championship and with his ability and record who would be willing to bet against him achieving it.

Alexander Gustafsson

To finish off, there is one man who paved the way for these warriors to wreak havoc. The original Viking King of MMA ‘The Mauler’ Alexander Gustafsson. He has a Hall of Fame fight with possibly the Greatest of all Time Jon Jones. A fight where many argued he won. Two convincing victories over Jimmy Manua and Glover Teixeira. Although, one thing has eluded him. the UFC Championship, could 2020 be the year we see Gustafsson make his comeback?

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James Rees is host of ReesTalks Podcast and a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.