Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
In the main event of Alexander Gustafsson pushed his win streak to five with a unanimous decision victory over a tough Thiago Silva. The scores were 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.The 25-year-old Swede fired up his hometown crowd by controlling almost the entire fight with a good ranged attack and solid movement. Silva was able to get some good shots in now and again, but it wasn't enough.,
Gustafsson started quickly, dropping Silva with an uppercut early in the first round and opening a cut on his forehead. "The Mauler" swarmed Silva on the ground and against the cage, but he didn't overexert himself looking for the finish. He spent the rest of the round landing nice jabs while Silva used kicks to try and get inside. The second and third rounds looked pretty much the same, with Silva catching Gustafsson now and again with his patented right hook, but was generally stuck eating a variety of shots from Alexander the rest of the time. Overall it was a masterful performance from the top prospect.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Gustafsson dropping Silva with the uppercut in the first. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when Silva hit the mat.
Where do these guys go from here?
Where Gustafsson goes from here is up for debate. While it's clear he's not ready for a title shot, there are generally two different schools of thought regarding his next bout - either he faces a strong wrestler to prove he can hang with one (Ryan Bader), or he immediately moves to up to fighting an ex-champion (Mauricio Rua or Lyoto Machida). Personally I think Bader is a better idea at this point, but Joe Silva might feel differently.
Silva stepped up and took a huge bout when Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was forced off the card, and it's likely Silva will get a middle-of-the-road fighter next time out. Stephan Bonnar or Vladimir Matyushenko would be good matchups.
Watch it now, later or never?
Later. It wasn't the most exciting bout in history and while Gustafsson looked really good in there, I'd want to watch a few of the other bouts before this one.
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