Even though Jimi Manuwa had the home field advantage, he still wasn’t able to deliver. He was 14-0 going into this fight with 13 of his wins coming from knockout. Unfortunately for The Poster Boy, he now has a loss on his record. UFC fight night London was ecstatic! Alexander Gustafsson came into the fight ranked as the #1 contender for the Light Heavyweight division. As we now know, for a good reason. After his controversial loss to Jon Jones, people were curious to see what was going to happen in this fight against a knockout artist with superior power and carrying an undefeated record. For anyone who was skeptical, they aren’t anymore. Alexander Gustafsson did not only defeat Jimi Manuwa, but demolished him while doing so.
It was early in the second round when Alexander got Jimi in a muay thai clinch. Utilizing his height and long limbs, he delivered a devastating knee to the chin of Manuwa. It didn’t knock him out, but stunned him significantly and eventually ended up leading to a swarm of punches by Gustafsson. One of the uppercuts soon landed to Manuwa’s chin. He wasn’t completely out, but his knees buckled and his body wobbled and hit the canvas. Two hammer fists later, Marc Goddard called a stop to the fight because Manuwa was out cold. Alexander Gustafsson is now definitely in line for another title shot. After the fight, Gustafsson called out Jon Jones and told him that he’s ready whenever he was.
Why Gustafsson defeated Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37
Gustafsson’s last fight against Jones was a real eyeopener for The Mauler. He finally realized what he’s capable of and ultimately went into this fight fearless and extremely composed. Knowing he was able to put on the performance that he did with Jones allowed Gustafsson to enter this fight a lot more relaxed and at ease. He wasn’t overly confident, but had just the right state of mind to accomplish his goal. That was to KO Jimi Manuwa just the way he did. Gustafsson has extremely long legs. When he’s able to get someone in a muay thai clinch, if his opponent isn’t defending properly, they’re going to end up with a knee in their chin. Alexander is technical and intelligent. He knows how to maximize the advantages he has with this height and lean body. He’s fundamentally sound and has excellent focus.
Alex stuck to his game plan and defeated Jimi Manuwa early in the fight. To defeat Jimi Manuwa in the fashion that he did, definitely sends a message to the world. He’s in the UFC to bang. He’s not afraid to throw down with anyone. Whether they’re the UFC champion, or have an undefeated record with more than 90% of their wins coming from KO’s. He’s fearless, intelligent, savvy, composed, technical, and an extremely well rounded fighter. To beat Gustafsson, you’re going to have to be a special breed.
Could Manuwa have fought differently?
Absolutely! I think Jimi went into this fight with a horrible strategy. He has a huge stature to himself. Assuming that his cardio is in tip top shape, he should have wrestled Gustafsson. Maybe that was his game plan but became discouraged when Gustafsson took him down in the first round and held him there for a while. I don’t know. I do know that if Jimi were to somehow mount Gustafsson, rain down some elbows and open up Gustafsson, the fight could have ended completely differently. These are the what if situations we’re discussing though. The fight is over and done with. Jimi showed he’s tough and willing to bang with a top contender, but just wasn’t the better fight tonight in London.
Alexander Gustafsson Vs. Jon Jones 2
I’m sure a lot of people are expecting this matchup now. That’s if Jon Jones defends his belt in a month at UFC 172. The first fight between them could have gone either way. Personally, I believe Alexander won the fight by unanimous decision. However, as Dana White always says “never leave the fight in the judges hands.” Which is very true. Look at the GSP Vs. Johnny Hendricks fight for an example.
If they were to clash again, I think it would be an even more epic battle than the first time they fought. They’re both technical fighters that have their priorities right in life. They’re both fundamentally sound and know how to utilize the God given talents that they have. Jon Jones has an extremely long reach, but nobody is unbeatable. With this devastating knockout Gustafsson just executed, it will be interesting to see if Dana puts Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch immediately following UFC 172. If Jones wins, that is. If it did go down, I’m sure it would be one of the best fights for the 2014 year. Alexander Gustafsson has definitely showed why he’s the number one contender and that he’s an extremely dangerous mixed martial artist.
UFC London Conclusion:
Whether or not the fight could have ended different we’ll never know. Jimi Manuwa was crushed by The Mauler. Along with Jimi’s first loss on his record, you can add a KO next to that result. A knockout that was brutal and well executed. Alexander has earned respect from a lot of people with this victory and is more than likely going to have a title shot immediately following UFC 172’s main event.
Alexander is young and still has his whole MMA career ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to see how successful he becomes and whether or not he’ll ever become the UFC champion. Jimi Manuwa will need to get back on the grind and step up his game. He needs to become more well rounded and not just rely on his punching power and strength. There is more to mixed martial arts than throwing heavy hands. There’s great potential for him to grow and learn from this fight.
Despite Manuwa’s devastating knockout in the second round, he’s still one of the best fighters in his weight division. Every fight is a learning experience. You can train hard in the gym, but it’s nothing like actually being inside that cage with only yourself and one other man that wants to kill you. We’re all human and make mistakes.
We’re to accept these mistakes, learn from them, and not make them again. The main event tonight at UFC Fight Night 37 in London was epic! It was a well fought main event and I wish I could of attended. Congratulations to Alexander Gustafsson for his vicious knockout and I look forward to seeing both of these fighters fight again as soon as possible!