Coming into UFC Fight Night hungry, Alexander Gustafsson was ready to prove he is the best light heavyweight on the planet. He faced a stern test in Jimi Manuwa today, a fighter who has finished all of his previous opponents. Gustafsson controlled Manuwa on the ground in the first, but it was in the second where he really shined.
He clipped Manuwa with a perfectly-timed knee, and finished him off with some brutal uppercuts. The win cements Gustafsson as being the next in line to fight for the title, whether it’s against Jon Jones or Glover Teixeira. Gustafsson’s record is now an impressive 16-2. Even though he lost to Jones in his title fight, Gustafsson still believes he has what it takes to be a champion, and it’s clear he’s still improving both in terms of his ground and stand-up game.
These championship-level skills were on full display tonight. Manuwa is a lethal striker on the feet, but it was Gustafsson’s range and timing that proved to be too much. He showed some killer instincts when Manuwa was hurt. This is what makes Gustafsson one of the most exciting fighters to watch right now in the UFC. When he has an opponent hurt, he does everything possible to finish the fight. Jones better be ready, because Gustafsson is coming for vengeance sooner rather than later.
Jones was battered, leaving the octagon on a stretcher, in his first title fight with Gustafsson, and the latter is more than capable of doing this again to Jones in the rematch. First, Jones will have to get through Glover, which will be no easy task, but if he does, fans deserve a Gustafsson-Jones rematch. It’s a rematch that could be Fight-Of-The-Year and possibly Fight-Of-The-Century.