Mike Wilkinson Makes His UFC Return
A friend and customer of Fighstore Pro, Mike Wilkinson (8-1-0) will be fighting on UFC Stockholm tomorrow in a feathweight battle against Stockholms own Niklas Backstrom (8-0-0 1NC) on the MAIN card, headlined by Gunnar Nelson vs Rick Story.
Backstrom is undefeated in his professional career with his first UFC appearance against Tom Niinimaki ending it in the first round via Submission, earning his first UFC victory on his debut. Starting training when he was 10 with his brother after watching UFC tapes and started training at 15 going on to become a Swedish wrestling champion and professional mixed martial artist, previously working in an asylum for the criminally insane. Backstrom has never been defeated in his professional career which started in 2009. He has four wins by K.O, 2 by submission and three first round finishes. Three of his last 4 wins have came by way of knockout. He has the home town advantage and is a heavy favourite over Mike Wilkinson but will the pressure work in his favour, we’ll see.
Wilkinson fights out of Manchester, England and first started in MMA when he walked into Atherton submission wrestling because he’d watched UFC on TV and thought it was something he’d be good at. After being manhandled and beaten up at the gym he persisted and got “the bug” and hasn’t looked back since. Being Matrix 13th ranked undefeated in the world. His last appearance in the octagon was over a year ago since being sidelined due to injury. It saw him lose in the first round by Submission to a worthy opponent in Rony Jason, handing him the first loss of his pro career and he promises it to be his last. He won't be looking to repeat history as he takes on Backstrom in his home town of Stockholm, Sweden. Will being in his opponents back yard make a difference or will it just add fuel to Mike Wilkinsons fire. They’re both looking to climb the ladder in the featherweight division so no doubt we will find out.
The two will be the first fight to open up an action packed main card which sees Swedens own Ilir Latifi vs Jan Blachowicz, Akira Corroassani vs Max Holloway and the main event headlined by Gunnar Nelson vs Rick Story. Who will handle the pressure better?
Wilkinson is a 4/1 under dog and is fighting in Backstroms back yard in Stockholm, Sweden. As we all know, odds mean nothing in MMA. The odds say Backstrom, we at fightstore say Wilkinson!
Will the Englishman show his warrior spirit and defy the odds?
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- Alex Wright