Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson Preview

Shogun Rua UFC

Gary A. Vasquez-US Presswire

A pivotal match takes place in the light heavyweight division between Shogun Rua and Alexander Gustafsson.  Both fighters will be looking to make their case at challenging for the title, which is currently being reigned by Jon Jones.

Shogun Rua is coming into this fight off a win over Brandon Vera.  In their fight, both fighters showed heart and it was an absolute war from start to finish.  Both fighters took some punishment, but Shogun ultimately would get the TKO in round 4.  Ever since loosing to Jon Jones for the championship, Shogun has gone 2-1, and a win over Gustafsson certainly puts him up there with the best.

One criticism of Rua for years has been his cardio.  Sometimes this aspect is lacking in his fights, which leaves him susceptible to folding up when the pressure is put on him.  However, recently he has shown he can go the distance, which certainly bodes well for him coming into this match up with Gustafsson.

Gustafsson comes into this fight with an impressive record of 14-1.  In his last fight, Gustafsson showcased some excellent striking skills against Thiago Silva, earning him a unanimous decision win.  Gustafsson has certainly been one of the UFC’s hottest prospects, and a win over Shogun legitimatizes his skills inside the octagon.  Many believe he has the tools to give Jon Jones a run for his money, but first thing is first; he has to get past Shogun in order to grant him a title shot.

Gustafsson has an incredible ability to use his reach to stifle his opponents standing, and he has also shown improvement in his ground game.  Will Gustafsson’s reach and stand up skills be enough to overcome the equally competent striker in Shogun Rua?  Stay tuned!