Only 24 years old, 12-1 light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson has recently started drawing similar buzz to that of the current 205-pound champion, Jon Jones, based on his age, explosive arsenal of technique, and poise against seasoned opponents.
That notion was recently boosted by Gustafsson’s strike-based stoppage of Matt Hamill, one of Jones’ former opponents, at UFC 133. Now, according to the UFC, “The Mauler” has drawn another adversary with past ties to the title-holding phenom – Vladimir Matyushenko – and will face him at UFC 141. The two were originally scheduled to lock horns last month before Matyushenko was forced out with an injury.
At 26-5, Matyushenko has more than twice Gustafsson’s experience and will be looking for his third straight win when they meet on December 30. “The Janitor” has also had his hand raised against a number of his respected peers including Jason Lambert, Igor Pokrajac, Pedor Rizzo, Tim Boetsch, Eliot Marshall, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The Swedish Gustafsson has finished eleven of the twelve foes he’s felled including eight via TKO. None of his victories in the UFC have gone beyond the second round, as he hasn’t been to a decision in more than three years.
UFC 141 is headlined by former UFC champ Brock Lesnar taking on talented newcomer Alistair Overeem and will also feature “Top 3” welterweight Jon Fitch in action against accomplished amateur wrestler Johny Hendricks.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC