In the main event of UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa out of the O2 Arena in London, England, Alexander Gustafsson (16-2) scored a technical knockout over Jimi Manuwa (14-1) in just over 6 minutes. The win pulled "The Mauler" up to 8-2 inside the Octagon while "Poster Boy" suffered his first ever career loss and is now 3-1 as a UFC light heavyweight.
Gus scored first with an early takedown. The action on the mat was a little slow with Gustafsson working for a keylock from top half-guard for the better half of four minutes. Manuwa was finally able to get to his feet with about a minute left. They exchanged on the feet for the remainder of the round with Manuwa scoring probably his most effective offense of the fight with a left hook to the body.
The second round took place entirely on the feet. Gustafsson used his height and reach advantage to mostly keep Manuwa on the outside. An accidental eye poke stopped the action. After being cleared by the doctor, Manuwa came out swinging. His looping hooks missed their target, however and he was eventually caught by a brutal knee in the Muay Thai clinch. Gustafsson followed up with a straight right that dropped his opponent and finished him off with some perfunctory ground and pound. Referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight a 1:18 of round 2.
What was the high point of the fight?
I'm calling it a tie. First of course, was the knee that led to the inevitable finish. Gus got in quick to grab the Thai plum and immediately blasted Manuwa. He followed that up by taking the mic from Dan Hardy in his post fight interview to call out the champ, "Jon Jones, I want my title shot again!"
Where do they go from here?
In the post fight press conference, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Gustafsson will get his title shot against the winner of the UFC 172 main event between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. With no other challengers waiting in the wings, the rematch of Jones' toughest test to date is the fight to make.
Manuwa was always out of his depth stepping into the Octagon against The Mauler. Gus was a huge step up from Ryan Jimmo under the best of circumstances even not considering that all three of his UFC finishes ended oddly. So, he shouldn't be matched up against the very top of the division again just yet. I'd like to see him against James Te Huna next.
Watch it now, never, or later?
Get right on this one. It was a dominant performance by the second best in the division.