Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Alexander Gustafsson picked up the biggest win of his career with a second round TKO win over Matt Hamill in a light heavyweight fight at UFC 133. Gustafsson spent a lot of the first round staying on the outside and moving around the cage, while occasionally jumping in and throwing uppercuts or combinations at Hamill. Hamill responded with stiff jabs that made the round close, but Gustafsson took it. The second round was a different story, with Gustafsson coming in on the attack and lighting up Hamill with strikes until the referee jumped in to stop the fight.
Hamill has never been finished like that in his career (other than the Jon Jones fight, in which Jones was disqualified for illegal blows), and Gustafsson just took a giant leap forward in the light heavyweight division. Hamill was a late replacement for Vladimir Matyushenko. The fight was the second bout on the Spike TV portion of the broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Undoubtedly the finishing sequence, where Gustafsson crumpled Hamill to the mat with punches, then stepped over into the mount and dropped bombs on him until the fight was mercifully brought to an end.
Where do these guys go from here?
The sky is the limit for Gustafsson. Despite a loss on his record to uber-prospect Phil Davis, The Mauler has quickly established himself as an emerging threat at 205. His next fight will depend on how quickly the UFC wants to bring him along, but the originally scheduled opponent Vladimir Matyushenko would make sense if he's not going to be out for too long.
Hamill went from five wins in a row (one was the DQ win over Jones) to looking lethargic and confused in his bout with Quinton Jackson at UFC 130. After this knockout loss, he is on the hotseat in a tough division and the UFC is in a precarious position. Hamill is a popular fighter and could very well be given a lower-level opponent to get back on track. But they might throw him in the fire and see if he's still worth it as well. My suggestion is a bout with Fabio Maldonado.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Gustafsson is going to be near the top of the heap and light heavyweight division for years to come, and you should take the time to watch how he masterfully picked apart Hamill before ruining his world late in the second round.
More BE coverage of UFC 133 in the full entry.