Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport
Manuwa hasn't been scoring highlight-reel knockouts inside the Octagon, but he has battered his opponents with strikes prior to injuries halting all three of his UFC outings.
He throws with power that is almost unmatched in the light heavyweight division, but he doesn't sacrifice form. While Manuwa swings for the fences with most of his strikes, he doesn't have a tendency to get overly wild when standing.
In his UFC debut against Kyle Kingsbury, "Poster Boy" also displayed solid striking IQ.
After having a lead left hook ducked for a takedown early in the first round, Manuwa adjusted appropriately after working back to a standing position. Recognizing Kingsbury made a habit out of leaning under the lead hook, Manuwa threw a left to the body, which put him in a better position when Kingsbury looked to clinch.
So, instead of being taken down, Manuwa was able to rock his opponent with a nasty knee to the head.
When he meets Gustafsson, Manuwa may have to make a similar alteration in his approach. The Englishman throws his lead left hook regularly, and Gustafsson displayed an ability to counter that strike expertly against the best in the world, Jones.
At UFC 165, Jones threw a short left hook in the fourth round. Already circled to the outside of Jones' lead leg, Gustafsson was able to slip the punch and return a left hook of his own. After landing, Gustafsson was also able to take the center of the Octagon.
The Swedish fighter needs to be careful about repeatedly ducking the lead left hook, or Manuwa will modify his attacks as he did against Kingsbury. However, we're talking about a much more advanced striker than Kingsbury, as Gustafsson has never suffered a knockout loss in his MMA career.
Behind his lead left hook, Manuwa's second-most utilized punch is probably his right overhand. It could be a useful attack against the taller Gustafsson, but "The Mauler" has more than had an answer for the overhands he has come across in past fights.
In an April 2012 bout against Thiago Silva, Gustafsson answered a right overhand with a shorter uppercut and knocked the Brazilian down. From that point on, the usually aggressive Silva was hesitant to explode forward.
If Gustafsson can frustrate Manuwa early on in similar fashion, he could force another attacking adversary into a shell.
Despite being the shorter man, Manuwa does have a slight reach advantage over Gustafsson. However, in his bout with Jones, whose reach is five inches longer than Manuwa's, Gustafsson proved he has the jab and kicks to deal with disadvantages in reach.