After Amir Sadollah was slotted in to face Yoshihiro Akiyama in Japan, Nico Musoke will now face top Russian talent Alexander Yakovlev at UFC Fight Night 53. Both fighters are coming into the fight off losses, with Musoke fighting in his home country for the first time in his UFC stint.
Nico Musoke bursted on the scene with a big win over Alessio Sakara, taking the fight on short notice and in a weight class above his natural 170lbs. He went on to follow up with a decision over Viscardi Andrade, though suffered a setback after losing a decision to #11 ranked Kelvin Gastelum in June.
The fight with Gastelum marked Musoke’s first ranked opponent since signing with the promotion, and while he ultimately lost, he was able to win one round and showed signs of potential. The 28 year-old Stockholm born welterweight will look to get back on track when he meets a tough opponent in Alexander Yakovlev in October.
Yakovlev was unsuccessful in his UFC debut, though faced a world class grappler and former title challenger in Demian Maia, replacing the injured Mike Pierce. Despite being mounted by a man many dub the greatest BJJ practitioner in the welterweight division, Yakovlev was able go the distance, and had Maia in some tough spots along the way.
Being able to hang on the ground with a fighter of Maia’s calibre is impressive to say the least, and Yakovlev also has a win over former Strikeforce title challenger and UFC veteran Paul Daley on his resumé. 21-5-1 as a professional, the Russian looks for his first win inside the Octagon against a highly touted opponent in Musoke.
UFC Fight Night 53 is headlined by a welterweight clash between Gunnar Nelson and Rick Story at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on October 4.