UFC on Fuel TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva
By Robert Nash
After taking more than a month’s layoff the UFC is set to once again host more action packed fights this Saturday night with two exciting match up’s taking place in Stockholm Sweden, as heavy handedThiago Silva looks to make an impressive return to the octagon by taking out Sweden’s very own Alexander Gustafsson, while his teammate Alessio Sakara trades with military leader tuned UFC contender Brian Stann with the fights being aired on fuel TV.
Thiago Silva (+175) vs Alexander Gustafsson (-210)
Alexander Gustafsson is a young, up and coming rising star of the 205 pound weight class with real potential. The 25 year old is on a 4 fight winning streak and has proven himself to be a real threat of the division after coming off impressive stoppages over Vladimir Matyushenko and Matt Hamill. Gustafsson is improving every time he fights and his aggressive style together with his athleticism and striking ability makes him a very exciting fighter.
The Swede will have the advantage of having the whole country on his side and a win over a top ten opponent such as Silva in his hometown would move him closer to his quest of becoming a the challenger to Jon Joneses belt.
Thiago Silva is an aggressive fighter with knockout power in his hands and equally dangerous on the ground holding a black belt in jit jit su. The mean Brazilian was never a fan favourite because of his lack of respect towards his oppents, and the controversy in his last fight against Brandon Vera certainly didn’t do him any favours when he was found to have given a false urine sample in an attempt to hide the prohibited substances he had in his body at the time, his win was ultimately changed to a no contest and he and was suspended for a year as punishment.
Silva went undefeated for so long and his only two losses were to former champions Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, he still poses a threat to the hungry lions of the division and he will look to return with an impressive performance over a worthy opponent such as Gustafsson.
Both these fighters are very skilled on the feet and the ground so it should make for a good fight and a very difficult one to predict. Gustafsson has been moving up the rankings mixing up his game every time while Silva is coming off a yearlong lay off so it will be interesting to see if he will be affected by ‘ring rust’. I feel the native Swede will have a true test on his hands but could very well come out with his hand raised because of his recent performances.
Brian Stann (-400) v Alessio Sakara (+325)
This is a middleweight clash between two heavy handed middleweights that could make for a real slug fest and possibly earn fight of the night. Stann a former military leader has come a long way in his mixed martial arts career showing real improvement in every fight.
The fight that really earned him his name was when he became only the second man to knockout iron jaw Chris Leben, the other man being the current middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The war veteran lost an opportunity to fight for the title when he suffered a loss at the hands of Chael Sonnen via arm triangle choke back in October 2011. Stann is still widely considered by many to be the number three of the division and a win over Sakara could certainly keep him next in line to face the winner of Anderson Silva Vs Chael Sonnen.
Sakara has been competing in the sport as far back as 2005 making his debut at UFC 55 and holds notable wins over the likes of James Irwin and Thales Leites showing that he is not afraid to stand and bang. The Italian is coming off a loss against Chris Weidman where he was repeatedly taken down displaying a real weakness in the wrestling, mirroring Stann’s loss to Sonnen.
Now Sakara has the opportunity to showcase his striking ability once again as he takes on hard hitting Stann. This is will be the toughest fighter he has faced and it will be interesting to see how he will counter the power advantage that Stann possesses. Will he stay on the outside and deliver some kicks and combinations or will he try and mix up his game and look to take the fight to the ground?
Stann has faced much higher competition and I feel that Sakara will not be able to handle the raw power and all round fighting ability of the top middleweight contender. My prediction for this fight is Stann will emerge victorious no matter where the fight goes but most likely by way of Knockout.