Luiz Gustavo is ready for his shot at gold.
The always-exciting Brazilian finisher (12-2) has never earned a victory via the judges’ scorecards and he doesn’t plan to start at RIZIN Landmark 5 this weekend (Sat., April 29, 2023) against Koji Takeda.
A win for the 26-year-old “Killer” would extend his current streak to three in a row and presumably be enough to earn him a crack at the Lightweight champion, Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza, who takes on Spike Carlyle at RIZIN 42 one week later (Sat, May 6, 2023).
“That’s what I’m expecting,” Gustavo told MMA Mania on BROADENED HORIZIN. “I’m going for the belt. For all I’ve been showing at the events and for the fans, the whole world, I’m ready after this fight to get the belt.
“The path he took to get the belt, he deserves it,” he said of Satoshi. “But I also deserve it and I’m on the way to get the belt and become the champion.”
The COVID-19 pandemic put Gustavo’s career on pause from Dec. 2019 to April 2022. Returning after only his second loss to Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix, Gustavo picked up right where he left off.
Gustavo earned a second-round ground and pound technical knockout win over Yusuke Yachi in their rematch to get back in the win column. Five months later and the streaking Deep Lightweight champion, Juri Ohara, had his eight-fight unbeaten stretch halted by “Killer” in just 83 seconds. Against Takeda, Gustavo promises the same outcome fans have grown accustomed to seeing from him.
“He has good slams but I also have good takedown defense and I also know how to take down even though people know that I’m a striker,” Gustavo said of Takeda. “I know jiu-jitsu, I’m not worried about that. This fight won’t go to the judges, for sure. 100 percent sure.
“I’m preparing to do everything in this fight,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter if I’m gonna go to the ground, if he’s going to take me down, I won’t let it go to the judges. It’s going to be a nightmare the whole fight for him, even on the ground or striking.”
Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or you can listen on Spotify.