MMA veteran Alexander Gustafsson is currently preparing for his first fight against a former UFC light-heavyweight champion, and the Swede seems confident about his chances against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The two are expected to meet on the stacked “UFC on Fox 5” fight card scheduled for Dec. 8.
“I think it’s a great matchup, Shogun is a tough guy,” Gustafsson said during an interview with Kimura.se. “I look forward to getting up in the cage and fighting him. … I’m going prepare for the best Shogun. I know he’ll come out and fight. I’ll be prepared. … I’ll knock him out in the second round!”
Mauricio Rua has already faced many of the hardest hitters in MMA, and he’s never been truly knocked out (he has two TKO losses). A majority of Gustafsson’s wins come via KO/TKO, but his only clean knockout victory was against Jared Hamman. “The Mauler’s” chances of securing a knockout victory against Rua are pretty slim, but I’m sure it’ll be fun to watch him try.
Alexander Gustafsson put on an imposing performance in his last outing against Thiago Silva, outclassing the Brazilian at “UFC on Fuel TV 4.” His trainer, Andreas Michael, feels Rua is just a slightly better version of Silva.
“Shogun throws more punches and he’s faster,” Michael said. “I think Shogun is just a better version of Thiago Silva.”
With a professional MMA record of 14-1, Gustafsson’s future in the UFC looks bright, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets a chance to square up against current light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. The Mauler is competent in the striking and grappling arts alike, and at only 25 years-old, he’ll only improve with time.
Even though Rua is the more experienced fighter between the two, I expect Gustafsson to secure another impressive victory when the two square up in December. At this point, it’s safe to say that Gustafsson is here to stay.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.