Bäckström began training Jujutsu at the age of 10. At 14 he also began Boxing and Wrestling in his hometown Luleå. After high school he moved to Stockholm and took up Mixed martial arts.
Bäckström started his martial arts career as a competitor in Submission wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was awarded his BJJ purple belt after winning a Swedish tournament in 2008, he also competed in Shootfighting with a record of 2-0, before starting his professional MMA career in 2009.
After staying undefeated following his first three professional bouts, Bäckström signed with the British promotion Cage Warriors. He made his promotional debut against Adam Edwards, on April 24, 2011 at CWFC 41, he won the fight by unanimous decision. He was later expected to face top Irish prospect and future UFC fighter Conor McGregor on September 8, 2011 at CWFC: Fight Night 2. However, Bäckström was forced out of the bout with a broken hand, and was replaced by Aron Jahnsen.
Bäckström then continued to fight on the European circuit and by 2014 he had racked up a record of 7-0 1 NC, with 4 victories by TKO and 1 by submission, including a unanimous decision win over Sergej Grecicho and a 15-second TKO over Max Coga, before getting the call from the UFC.
On May 15, 2014 it was revealed that Bäckström had signed a contract with the UFC.
He made his debut on short notice, replacing an injured Thiago Tavares against Tom Niinimäki on May 31, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 41. Despite coming in as a slight underdog, Bäckström won the fight by submission in the first round. He was also awarded a Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts.
Bäckström faced Mike Wilkinson on October 4, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 53. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.
Bäckström faced Noad Lahat on June 20, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 69 He lost the back and forth fight by majority decision (28-28, 28-29, 28-29). However, on the MMA media scorecards, most had scored the fight a draw, with Bäckström winning round one and three 10-9 and losing round two 10-8, making the score 28-28.
In late August, 2015 it was announced, surprisingly to some, that Bäckström had been released from the promotion.
In his first fight since his UFC stint, Bäckström fought Bulgarian veteran Georgi Stoyanov on November 28, 2015 in the headliner at the Battle of Botnia 2015-event, close to his hometown in North Sweden. He won the fight by submission due to a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Since his BAMMA-debut was postponed (see below), Bäckström instead took a short notice fight against Danijel Kokora on June 4, 2016 at Scandinavian Fight Nights 1. The bout was contested at lightweight, with Bäckström moving up and Kokora moving down in weight. He won the fight by submission due to a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Bäckström faced Joni Salovaara on November 26, 2016 in the headliner at Cage 37. Despite suffering a broken hand, he won the fight by unanimous decision.
On April 11, 2016 it was revealed that Bäckström had signed with British promotion BAMMA. He was expected to make his promotional debut on June 4, 2016 at BAMMA 26. No opponent was announced. He is now set to face Attila Korkmaz at the same event which has been postponed to September 10, 2016. However, the matchup would later be scrapped from the card altogether. Following the postponing of his first two bookings, he instead fought for other promotions during that timeframe (see above).
Bäckströms promotional debut was then set to be against Brian Moore on December 16, 2016 at BAMMA 27 which was a card co-promoted by BAMMA and Bellator. It was later revealed that Bäckström instead would be facing Ronnie Mann, and it would be a fight for the BAMMA featherweight title. However, Bäckström would later have to pull out of the fight due to an injury. The injury was a broken hand that he suffered in a fight which he took after his previously booked fight in BAMMA had been cancelled (see above). He was replaced by Martin Stapleton.Ultimate Fighting Championship
Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Tom Niinimäki
Nordic MMA Awards - MMAViking.com
2014 Submission of the Year vs. Tom Niinimäki (UFC Fight Night 41)
2008 Västerås Cup 4 Open Weight BJJ Tournament 3rd place
2012 Swedish National Submission Wrestling Lightweight Tournament 1st place
2010 Swedish National Submission Wrestling Lightweight Tournament 3rd place