David Bielkheden is set to make his return to the UFC for the first time since 2009, meeting fellow Swede Mats Nilsson at UFC Fight Night 53 in Stockholm. The card will be held at Ericsson Globe Arena on October 4, and is headlined by Scandinavian favourite Gunnar Nelson facing his first ranked opponent in Rick Story. Swedish media outlet Kimura were first to announce the bout, which is yet to be confirmed by UFC officials.
Despite losing five of his last eight bouts, David Bielkheden has re-signed with the UFC after compiling a 1-2 record with the promotion back in 2008-09. Losing to Diego Sanchez and Mark Bocek, Bielkheden earned a decision win over Jess Liaudin in-between, but has since gone just 6-5. However, with the card being held in the veteran’s hometown, the fact he has re-signed is no real surprise, especially after an impressive decision win over former UFC fighter Besam Yousef.
The Stockholm born welterweight has won three of his last five, with his only losses coming against former or present UFC fighters in Marcus Davis and Cathal Pendred. The 35 year-old has never been knocked out in his 31-fight career, and has previously fought for big promotions such as Pride, Cage Pages and Shooto.
30 year-old Mats Nilsson will look to rebound from an unsuccessful UFC debut, losing via knockout to Luke Barnatt in the first round of their bout in March. Prior to that, Nilsson had lost just once in eight bouts, earning a call-up to the UFC with a second round TKO over Jamaican veteran Denniston Sutherland.
A former Cage Warriors competitor, Mats Nilsson makes the drop down to welterweight with the hope that he can re-gain some momentum. 11-3-1 as a professional, Nilsson has finished four of his last five wins, and a big win over a well-known veteran in David Bielkheden would make a big statement in his new division.
The official order of the card is yet to be announced, but the Bielkheden vs. Nilsson bout is expected to featured on the preliminary portion of the event.