Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Alexander Gustafsson celebrates against Vladimir Matyushenko (not pictured) during a light featherweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight prospect, Alexander Gustafsson, is ready to prove he's championship material by toppling former division kingpin Mauricio Rua at the UFC on FOX 5 event booked for Dec. 8, 2012.
And "The Mauler" tells Kimura.se he's going to knock "Shogun" out in the second round:
"When it's time, I will be more than ready to fight him. Shogun is a very tricky fighter, he has a good double-leg, really good striking, I have to be prepared for everything. His biggest strength is his heart, as a fighter. It's gonna be a tough fight, for sure. I will knock him out in the second round."
Gustafsson (14-1) was tasked with welcoming Thiago Silva back to the Octagon, which he did in earnest, with a unanimous decision win over the American Top Team bruiser in the UFC on FUEL TV 2 main event last April.
The win over Silva marked his fifth straight and outside of a submission loss to Phil Davis earlier in his career, the towering Swede has been perfect as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, notching wins over Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko in the process.
Hear his gameplan for Rua, after the jump.
"Shogun" (21-6) was aiming for a spot against the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson, who will collide at the UFC 151 pay-per-view (PPV) on Sept. 1, which ultimately went to fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida after "The Dragon" outperformed Rua at the UFC on Fox 4 event a few weeks back.
The former PRIDE phenom hasn't won back-to-back fights since knocking out Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell in consecutive bouts over three years ago. Can he stymie the young phenom and get himself back into title contention?
Time will tell.
For more on their 205-pound scrap at UFC on FOX 5 click here.