In a trivia game somewhere in the future, the question will eventually be asked, “who did light heavyweight champion Jon Jones make his UFC debut against?” The answer of course is former IFL standout and Renzo Gracie student Andre Gusmao.
But Gusmao, who gave Jones one of his toughest tests in the Octagon, doesn’t want to be remembered as the guy who fought the champion way back when. He wants to earn his way back to the UFC, and start a new history for himself, this time at 185 pounds.
Gusmao ended up with only two fights in the Octagon. The loss to Jones and a knockout defeat to former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Krzysztof Soszynski.
What many people may not remember about Gusmao, however, was his quick start when he was fighting for the International Fight League before making the move to the UFC.
Gusmao showed off a diverse striking game that dispatched of fellow former UFC fighter Mike Ciesnolevicz twice, as well as Brent Beauparlant and Wojtek Kaszowski. The Renzo Gracie student also comes with an array of interesting moves from his background in Capoeira.
Gracie and his students have often thought of Gusmao as one of the brightest prospects to come out of the Manhattan academy, and he’s looking to make a big impact in the coming year.
Now that he’s down at middleweight, Gusmao bounced back with his first win in his post-UFC career with a dominant performance over Vagner Curio in Ring of Combat in New Jersey last year. Now he’ll get back in action with a focus on returning to the Octagon in 2011.
This time around, Gusmao will face undefeated prospect Tim Williams in the main event of Cage Fury Fighting Championships 7 happening at the Resorts in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday night.
If he’s successful, Gusmao will look to continue at his new weight class until UFC matchmaker Joe Silva takes notice, and makes the call to see what kind of damage he could do in the middleweight ranks.