The UFC Fight Nights continue to provide top-notch fights, and the Fight Night event on March 8 in London will be no different. Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa will headline the card, and both fighters are contenders for title shots against the UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. The two combine for 29 wins and just two losses, which almost guarantees that this fight will be a good one.

Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson

Gustafsson has a career record of 15 wins and two losses, and fights out of Stockholm, Sweden. The 27-year-old Swedish fighter does split his time between the Allstar Training Center in Stockholm and Alliance MMA in San Diego. The boxing and shootfighting specialist racked up a perfect 8-0 record before joining the UFC in 2009. His first eight fights occurred mainly in smaller European leagues, and he ended six of them by knockout or TKO.

Both of his losses came from fights in the UFC—his first in April 2010 against Phil Davis by submission via the anaconda choke, and the most recent in his last fight against the reigning champion, Jon Jones, last September by decision. His fight against Jones was considered by many to be the 2013’s “Fight of the Year.”

Gustafsson is the only the second fighter to go the distance with Jones, lasting all five rounds. The first fighter was Rashad Evans, who was destroyed by Jones but just didn’t get knocked out or submitted. “The Mauler” was also the first fighter to take down Jones. The Ontario Athletic Commission released the final scorecard, where two of the judges have it scored 48-47 Jones, making it the closest fight for Jones.

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa

“Poster Boy” is undefeated in his MMA career, having posted 14 wins, where 13 were by knockout and one came via submission. He fights out of London, England. Manuwa cross-trains at two gyms, Keddles Gym with Alan Keddle & Dino Miringou and Nova Forca BJJ with Ricardo Da Silva.

Before joining the UFC, Manuwa fought for two smaller companies, which were the United Kingdom’s UCMMA and BAMMA. Manuwa dominated the competition in the UCMMA and BAMMA, and during this time Manuwa actually turned down two separate offers from the UFC’s Dana White. Manuwa turned down both because he didn’t feel like he was ready. Finally, he signed with the UFC in 2012 and has sent all three of his opponents home early by knockout. After just three fights, he is already ranked as the 10th best light heavyweight fighter by the UFC.

The Match-up

Both fighters are known for their ability to stand up and fight, even though both are well-trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. When it comes to the betting odds for the bout, Betfair gaming has Gustafsson the heavy favorite, with 1.25 money line odds, and Manuwa receiving 3.9. However, given Manuwa’s ability to deliver the knockout, it truly could be anyone’s fight.

Other Fights on the Main Card

Michael “The Menace” Johnson (15-8-0) takes on Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (48-13-3, 2NC) in a lightweight match-up. The two match up very well and make for a solid fight. Both fighters are known for their wrestling and striking skills.

Brad “One Punch” Pickett (24-8-0) will go toe-to-toe with Neil “2Tap” Seery in the flyweight division. Pickett is looking to rebound from his last fight when he goes up against the UFC newcomer, Seery. The fighters should be staying on their feet, since both come from strong boxing backgrounds.

Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (11-0-1) takes on Omari “Lakec” Akhmedov (12-0-0) in a welterweight bout. Both are fairly new to the UFC—this will be Nelson’s third fight and Akhmedov’s second. The two come from very different backgrounds. Whereas Nelson is known for his submissions, Akhmedov is known for his striking and takedowns. Look for Akhmedow to try to keep the fight upright.

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