ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON Takes on JIMI MANUWA in London
Top contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa face off in London England. And when the pair met in March of 2014, Manuwa had entered the UFC with some hype behind him. Sporting a professional record of 14 – 0, the Londoner appeared to have plenty of potential. With many saying he would go all the way to the UFC light heavyweight title.
So when he stepped into the Octagon against Gustaffson in London. It was believed that this could very well be his big breakout fight. With a win against the Swede signalling a big jump up in competition. And a likely shot at the reigning division champion Jon Jones in the very near future.
And Alexander Gustafsson knew all about what it was like to share an octagon with the champion. Having lost a decision to him at UFC 165, many thought the fight could have been given to the Swede. But alas it was not to be and so Gus now found himself back in the chasing group.
How would it all play out as these two top contenders went toe to toe at the O2 arena in London’s docklands?
Alexander Gustafsson vs Jimi Manuwa Round One
As round one gets underway, Jimi Manuwa immediately opens up with a right hand and low kick. The smaller man in the octagon in terms of height, Manuwa carries some serious bulk in terms of muscle. And he will be looking to make his power a deciding factor in this bout.
But Gustaffson is a veteran and he won’t allow himself to fall foul of Jimi’s striking. As the Brit lurches in to strike, Gus gets under and manages to get him to the ground. Taking top position and looking to get a kimura on his left arm. But this early in the fight, against a guy who is built like Jimi, not likely.
And as the pair wrestle for position, Gus is unable to get any type of control over Jimi’s arm. So he instead tries to go for full-mount, landing some shoulder strikes from the top along the way. However, Jimi is no slouch on the ground and manages to get Alexander into his guard, where he can at least try to control the distance.
And he does, with Gus allowing too much space as The Poster Boy springs back to his feet. The pair create some space and begin to open up with their strikes. Gustafsson shoots in for a takedown which is stuffed, as Jimi looks to keep this fight on the feet and in his realm.
As round two gets underway this looks to be turning into a kickboxing match. With Jimi Manuwa throwing some lovely low inside leg kicks, while Alexander Gustafsson replies with his very own. But it isn’t long before we have a pause in the action as Jimi gets poked in the eye.
Thankfully its nothing too serious and the fight is once again quickly underway. With Alexander popping out his jab, he’s keeping his opponent busy trying to avoid any damage. But Manuwa is also looking to land some telling shots but misses big. That being said, Gustafsson doesn’t want to be there and allow those shots to connect.
And it is one of those very strikes that catch the Swedes attention. As he then presses forward, catching Jimi with a hard uppercut, followed up by a crushing knee to the face. As Manuwa staggers forward and collapses to the ground. The Swede follows up landing some hammer fists to the prone downed opponent.
As the referee jumps in to bring a stop to the action, a KO’ed Jimi Manuwa struggles to find his senses. Gustafsson tries a front flip and roars in celebration. With another great performance inside the octagon, no doubt sending him on his way back to that next title shot.