UFC on Fuel 2: What We Learned from Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva

Vince CareyContributor IApril 14, 2012

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

In the highly anticipated main event of UFC on Fuel 2, Alexander Gustafsson proved that he is the real deal at 205.

Gustafsson out-worked Thiago Silva on his feet using his reach and awesome footwork, and he even got compared to UFC champion Jon Jones by commentator Kenny Florian.

The win for Gustafsson is going to push him into the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division, and the hype behind him is going to skyrocket after he dominated a savage like Silva.


What We’ll Remember About This Fight:

This fight was the coming out party of Alexander Gustafsson.

We can now consider Gustafsson among the elite at 205, and at just 24 years old he may have the most potential of anyone in the division not named Jon Jones.

Silva didn’t look terrible, but the year long absence seemed to hurt him a bit and he was just unable to find his range against the lanky Gustafsson.


What We Learned About Alexander Gustafsson

Not only is Gustafsson for real, he’s a lightweight in a 205lb body.

His standup was phenomenal, his clinch work was great and he showed he can go a full three rounds without gassing out.

Gustafsson answered a ton of questions tonight and proved he’s legitimate.


What We Learned About Thiago Silva

The year long layoff hurt him, but his inability to adjust to Gustafsson’s range hurt him much worse.

Silva is an aggressive striker, but sometimes he looks for the knockout punch instead of throwing combinations together and that’s what he did tonight.


What’s Next For Alexander Gustafsson

Gustaffson is now extremely close to a title shot, but with Dan Henderson already waiting in the wings it looks like he’ll have to fight once more before getting a shot at Jon Jones.

A bout with Lyoto Machida would be a great test for Gustafsson, but if the UFC wants to match him up with a winner then Ryan Bader is really the only option.


What’s Next For Thiago Silva

In one of the most exciting fights I can even think of, Silva should fight Shogun Rua next.

Rua was supposed to fight Rampage Jackson, but Rampage is getting surgery on his knees and will likely be out awhile.

A fight between Silva and Shogun would be a muay thai fans dream and would be an excellent fight to throw on July’s UFC 147 card in Brazil.