SEATTLE – Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (14-1-0) has cemented his place as the No. 1 contender for the UFC light heavyweight title with an unanimous decision win over Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7-0) in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 5 from the KeyArena in Seattle.
Gustafsson wasted no time, immediately going on the attack and dropped Rua before switching to ground and pound. The Brazilian then turned the tables with a leg lock on Gustafsson who was in trouble momentarily, but the Swede escaped. Gustafsson controlled the remaining stages of the round working his knees from the Thai clinch.
Both fighters came out swinging in round two and Gustafsson was clipped by a Rua shot before a right hand down the pipe rocked the 25-year-old. Gustafsson then closed the distance, working from the clinch before scoring a couple of takedowns in the second half of the round to secure the point.
Rua was beginning to gas as they entered the final frame and Gustafsson continued to score with his takedowns on the Brazilian before letting him stand back up. Rua was hurt by a liver shot from the Swede and was backpedalling, but Gustafsson continued to stalk, picking his shots on Rua before again scoring with takedowns.
It was a dominant performance by Gustafsson, who picked up a wide decision on the scorecards (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Providing that everything goes to plan, Gustafsson will step in the Octagon to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title against the winner of the fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen currently scheduled for April 2013.
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