Alexander Gustafsson asked for the main event at UFC on FUEL TV 2 when he found out the card would take place in his native country of Sweden. After going three rounds with former contender Thiago Silva, Gustafsson has the career-defining victory he needed, earning a decision over Silva Saturday.
Gustafsson used his height advantage to keep Silva from ever finding a rhythm, executing several big strikes that sent “The Pitbull” to the mat. With the crowd in his corner, “The Mauler” flashed all signs of his ever-improving skills.
“I always train for a five-round fight,” Gustafsson said. “This was my first decision, but it was against a very tough guy in Thiago. I just want to continue to do what I do, and that’s fight.”
Gustafsson has now won five straight bouts since his first and only career loss to Phil Davis via submission. The 25-year-old was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but Nogueira pulled out with an injury.
“I am proud to fight in my home country,” Gustafsson said. “This was a big honor for me.”
Silva (14-3) was making his return to action after a year-long suspension due to a failed drug test. While stamina didn’t seem to be much of an issue, Silva never found the correct distance to do much damage to Gustafsson. The Brazilian is now 1-3 with one no-contest in his last four fights.
“I couldn’t feel my leg (after the first),” Silva said. “I tried to push as much as I could. Alexander is a tough guy, I couldn’t find the distance; he deserves the victory.”
Gustafsson connected on 91 strikes, while Silva managed just 55 over the 15 minutes.