Alexander Gustafsson defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in their co-main event at UFC on FOX 5 at Seattle’s Key Arena on Saturday night, further solidifying himself as the next to challenge for the light heavyweight title.
Gustafsson landed numerous strikes on his opponent, earning the unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Shortly after the highly-anticipated fight began, Shogun slipped onto the canvas, and Gustafsson followed and landed strikes on the ground. Rua recovered and nearly had an ankle lock, but his opponent escaped. Gustafsson stayed active with punches, out-landing the former light heavyweight champ in the opening round.
Shogun came out swinging in the second round. Gustafsson, however, kept the distance and landed several punches and low kicks. Shogun was put on his back two times, but his opponent was unable to keep him there for a great length of time. Gustafsson continued landing strikes and doing damage through the end of the frame.
Rua kept trying to land an overhand right, but they didn’t do as much damage as his opponent’s mixture of strikes did on him. Another takedown by Gustafsson in the third round put Rua on his back, but when the fight returned to the feet, it was Gustafsson’s combinations that made the difference all the way to when time expired.
With the win, Gustafsson will likely take on the 205-pound champion after Jon Jones fights Chael Sonnen this April. With the loss, Rua is 3-4 in his last seven fights and hasn’t had consecutive wins since 2009.
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