The co-main event of UFC on Fox 5 is a tough Light Heavyweight battle. Former champion Shogun Rua (21-6 MMA; 5-4 UFC) faces rising Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA; 6-1 UFC). This is the third of four main card bouts on the Fox broadcast. UFC on Fox 5 airs this Saturday night, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.
Like B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald, this is a battle of young lion vs. old guard. On one side is the old school Shogun, a veteran of Pride, Chute Boxe, and Brazilian Vale Tudo style. On the other side, you've got Gustafsson, a 25 year old fighter on the verge of big things. This will be a big test for the young Mauler. If he passes it, expect big things for him soon.
How do these two stack up?
Rua: 31 years old | 6'1" | 76" reach
Gustafsson: 25 years old | 6'5" | 76.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
Rua: W - Brandon Vera (TKO) | L - Dan Henderson (UD) | W - Forrest Griffin (KO)
Gustafsson: W - Thiago Silva (UD) | W - Vladimir Matyushenko (TKO) | W - Matt Hamill (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Mauricio Shogun Rua has had a tremendous career. With a Grand Prix title in Pride, a stint as the world's #1 Light Heavyweight, and a UFC title to his credit, there's no denying his accomplishments. But he's also pretty clearly winding down, as years of brutal battles have taken their toll, especially on his oft injured knees. His UFC run has been a mixed bag, with some poor showings, and other moments of brilliance. He's shown that you can never count him out, but how much longer will that last?
Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson is a fighter in some ways reminiscent of champion Jon Jones. He's another one of the division's new young guns, and has been turning in increasingly impressive performances. The one thing he lacks is a marquee win to put him over the top. Shogun can be that win, and Gustafsson knows it.
Why should you care?
Like I said with Penn vs. MacDonald - I love these fights. Does the veteran have it in him to hold off the young contender one more time? Or will a new top player at 205 emerge? I can't wait to find out.
More UFC on Fox 5 preview content from Bloody Elbow:
UFC on Fox 5 staff picks and predictions - Tim Burke
Dissection: B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald - Dallas Winston
Dissection: Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick - Dallas Winston
Dissection: FX prelims - Dallas Winston
Dissection: Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert Facebook prelim - Dallas Winston
Tim Means out of Fox card after falling in sauna - Mookie Alexander
Dana White: Shogun vs. Gustafsson for #1 contender - Chris Hall
Video: UFC on Fox 5 pre-fight press conference - Tim Burke
Video: A Portrait of B.J. Penn mini-documentary - Anton Tabuena
Video: MMA Tete-A-Tete Nate & Eugene talk BJ, Shogun, Rory, Gus, more - Nate Wilcox
Edgar picks Diaz to win against Henderson - Anton Tabuena
Culinary Union asks Fox to pull Stephens - Chris Hall
UFC on Fox 5 betting lines - Tim Burke
Will Penn and Shogun Fall at UFC on Fox 5? - Fraser Coffeen
Video: Dallas and Nate preview UFC on Fox 5 - Nate Wilcox
Video: Rory MacDonald wants to 'annihilate' B.J. Penn - Chris Hall
Video: UFC on Fox 5 Road to the Octagon full video - Mookie Alexander
Will Nate Diaz face the spotlight? - Nate Wilcox