After nearly a one-month break, UFC returns to the spotlight this week with the second event on Fuel TV, headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Thiago Silva and Alexander Gustafsson.
Silva was named as a replacement for this fight when Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was forced out with an injury. He is making his return to UFC after failing a drug test following a victory over Brandon Vera, which was later made a no-contest, in January 2011.
Gustafsson is looking to keep his momentum going. He is 13-1 overall, with his only loss coming to Phil Davis in April, 2010. This will be his first fight since a December TKO of Vladimir Matyushenko.
Where: Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden
When: Saturday, April 14 at 11:00 p.m. EST
Watch: Fuel TV
Main Card on Fuel TV
Light Heavyweight Bout: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva
Middleweight Bout: Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara
Welterweight Bout: Paulo Thiago vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Featherweight Bout: Dennis Siver vs. Diego Nunes
Welterweight Bout: DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire
Preliminary Card on Facebook
Welterweight Bout: Papy Abedi vs. James Head
Light Heavyweight Bout: Cyrille Diabate vs. Tom DeBlass
Middleweight Bout: Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
Lightweight Bout: Reza Madadi vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo
Welterweight Bout: Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef
Featherweight Bout: Jason Young vs. Eric Wisely
Silva's Keys to Victory
Shake off the cage rust early and work for the knockout early.
Silva has a lot working against him in this fight, with the long layoff between fights being the biggest knock. He is not going to be in perfect fighting shape coming into this fight. He is going to have to end it early to walk away victorious.
Fortunately, Silva has the right style to end a fight fast. He is going to come out swinging, and he will need every ounce of power against the younger, taller, more athletic Gustafsson.
Gustafsson's Keys to Victory
Make Silva work early before going on the attack.
Gustafsson has the size, speed and height advantage in this fight, so his best chance to win is to make Silva work early and often.
There is no way Silva's conditioning will be in tip-top condition. Gustafsson fights a similar style to Silva, though he is more well-rounded. He needs to make Silva exert all his energy early, then attack with punches late in the second round.
What They Are Saying
Alexander Gustafsson is going to take center stage in more ways than one this weekend. He is in his first UFC main event and fighting in front of a very partisan hometown crowd.
He knows what is at stake for him in this fight, but he told MMA Junkie that it is not going to change his style.
I'm very excited. Personally, I want to fight Thiago more then "Little Nog" because I think he's very aggressive, and he has some good power. It's a good test for me.
I'm just super-excited for the fight, and it's going to be a great fight for the fans.
I don't think about it (a title shot) now. I've got Thiago now. Let's see what they put in front of me next time.
I just take one fight at a time and win my fights. That's the most important.
Undercard Fight to Watch: Dennis Siver vs. Diego Nunes
Both of these fighters have underrated power, particularly Siver in his legs, but their bread and butter is submissions. They attack in the stand-up early before taking things to the ground.
Siver is trying to make his mark in the featherweight division after a successful run as a lightweight.
Nunes has made a successful transition to UFC with two wins in his first three fights. He will look to keep moving up the featherweight ladder with a victory over one of the better lightweights in the world.
Main Event Prediction
Gustafsson is going to go all-out to prove himself in front of an adoring hometown crowd. It helps that he is a better fighter than Silva right now.
Gustafsson via first-round TKO