In the first round Alexander Gustaffson and Gegard Mousasi rode their mainstream name recognition to easy wins over competitive but less well known fighters. But do they stand a chance against a present and a past UFC champion?
1. Jon Jones vs. 4. Alexander Gustaffson
My Take: I think these are two of the three top young fighters in the weight class. But is Gustaffson ready for Jones? Is anyone? I smell a blowout, but Alexander is a gifted striker who is confronting his wrestling weakness head on with Phil Davis. I like his potential down the road to challenge Jones. I'm afraid he's not ready yet though.
2. Mauricio Rua vs. 3. Gegard Mousasi
Rua looked out of shape and overwhelmed in his title defense against Jones. Mousasi, a former middleweight, is an entirely different kind of fighter - one Rua should be able to bully in the clinch which is where the Brazilian thrives. Mousasi, in turn, does well when his opponent isn't a gifted wrestler. This fight would be contested standing which is right in Gegard's wheelhouse. I foresee an upset.
- USA: Jon Jones
- Brazil: Mauricio Rua
- CIS/Assorted: Gegard Mousasi
- Europe: Alexander Gustafsson
Canada: Ryan Jimmo Asia/AUS: Ryo Kawamura
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