UFC on FOX 5 Tale of the Tape: Alexander Gustafsson (-210) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+170)

Event: UFC on FOX 5 Matchup: Alexander Gustafsson (-210) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+170) Location: KeyArena, Seattle, Washington, United States Time: 8 p.m. (ET) on Friday, December 8, 2012 How to watch: FOX Alexander GustafssonTALE OF THE TAPE: THE FAVORITE Name: Alexander Gustafsson (-210) MMA Record: 14-1 UFC Record: 6-1 Age: 25 Nationality: Swedish Height: 6-5 Weight: 205 pounds Style: Striker Camp: Alliance MMA Strengths: Striking, height, reach, mobility, ground game Weaknesses: Submission defense Last 5 Fights: W – Thiago Silva (UD), W – Vladimir Matyushenko (TKO), W – Matt Hamill (TKO), W – James Te Huna (SUB), W – Cyrille Diabate (SUB) Notable Career Wins: Thiago Silva (UD), Vladimir Matyushenko (TKO), Matt Hamill (TKO) Notable Career Losses: Phil Davis (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: None Keys to Victory: Stay on the outside and pick Shogun apart, avoid brawling with Shogun, stay technical TALE OF THE TAPE: THE UNDERDOG Name: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+170) MMA Record: 21-6 UFC Record: 5-4 Age: 31 Nationality: Brazillian Height: 6-1 Weight: 205 pounds Style: Muay Thai Camp: Universidade da Luta Strengths: Knockout power, heart, durability, chin, trip takedowns, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Weaknesses: Conditioning, speed, hittability Last 5 Fights: W – Brandon Vera (TKO), L – Dan Henderson (UD), W – Forrest Griffin (KO), L – Jon Jones (TKO), W – Lyoto Machida (KO) Notable Career Wins: Forrest Griffin (KO), Chuck Liddell (KO), Alistair Overeem (KO, KO), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (TKO), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (UD) Notable Career Losses: Dan Henderson (UD), Jon Jones (TKO), Lyoto Machida (UD), Forrest Griffin (SUB) Notable Career Achievements: Former UFC light heavyweight champion, former PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix champion Keys to Victory: Test Gustafsson’s chin, make the fight a brawl, maybe look for a trip takedown FIGHT BREAKDOWN, PREDICTION, PICK & BET Alexander Gustafsson has won five fights in a row and now faces the biggest challenge of his career when he meets former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 5. The Swede has looked phenomenal in his last few fights and if he can get past Shogun, there’s no question that he should be the next man in line to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen for the UFC light heavyweight title. But Shogun is no easy out. The former UFC light heavyweight champion Rua is one of the most durable fighters in the sport and has incredible knockout power that can see him end any fight with one punch like Lyoto Machida found out in their rematch. The Brazilian possesses fantastic Muay Thai, but his heart and toughness are his best attributes, as he’s nearly impossible to finish. Hoping to get another crack at Jones, Shogun needs to get by Gustafsson first in a very difficult matchup for the veteran against a young stud who will look to push Shogun’s cardio, which is often poor. Adam’s Fight Prediction: Alexander Gustafsson will stay on the outside, circle, and pick apart Shogun with punches. Shogun will not go down though – he is too difficult to stop and will last the entire 15 minutes – but his face will be black and blue and when it’s all said and done, Gustafsson will emerge as the next challenger for Jon Jones. Adam’s Pick: Alexander Gustafsson (-210) via unanimous decision (click for latest MMA odds). Adam’s Recommended Play: This is a tricky fight because even though on paper Alexander Gustafsson should win, it’s so difficult to bet against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who can end any fight with one punch and you know is going to be there for a full 15 minutes. I would advise staying away from this one and instead  just enjoy the action unless you have a good feeling about a particular fighter.

Written by Adam Martin.

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