In a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked light heavyweights in the UFC, Alexander Gustafsson showed why he holds the top spot by finishing Glover Teixeira at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Though both men have a handful of losses to their credit, neither has ever lost to anyone but the best the UFC light heavyweight division has to offer. The same can still be said after their main event showdown.
The fight was a contrast in styles, as Teixeira looked to use his powerful frame to put Gustafsson’s lights out with one big punch, while the Swede used his speed, agility, and reach advantage to amass punches in bunches to wear down his Brazilian counterpart.
From the opening bell, Teixeira was swinging for the fences, but Gustafsson set the pace, dancing away and making Teixeira miss with almost everything. Gustafsson used his jab to set up some devastating uppercuts that would have put most men down, but Teixeira survived them, at least for most of the fight.
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Gustafsson’s patient attack allowed him to land a spinning elbow and follow-up combination that put Teixeira on the canvas briefly in round two, and then he nearly finished him with a series of uppercuts that sent Teixeira down again in the third frame. Teixeira somehow survived and recovered fairly well in the final minute of round three and kept plowing forward.
Gustafsson kept his approach going in full force during the fourth frame, constantly assaulting Teixeira with jabs and uppercuts, tenderizing his face, which was now a bloody mess. Teixeira kept throwing the power punch, but Gustafsson was just too quick.
All Gustafsson had to do was ride out the final five minutes and continue to avoid Teixeira’s heavy hands, but he would have none of that. Gustafsson wants to be a champion and he finished the fight in championship fashion.
He set Teixeira up with a few more jabs, then unleashed a series of three staggering uppercuts followed by a right hook that put Teixeira’s lights out. It took him nearly the duration, but Gustafsson finally put the iron-chinned Brazilian away.
“I hit him with bombs and he just took every shot. He’s a great fighter,” Gustafsson said after the fight.
“He hits hard, put in some good combinations, but my uppercut worked, and I was working my elbows, my knees. He’s a great fighter, but it was my day today.”
Before he exited the Octagon, Gustafsson called his girlfriend to the cage, got down on one knee, ring in hand, and asked her to marry him. She said yes, capping a tremendous appearance on the Swede’s home turf.
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