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Predict the outcome of Saturday's main event between Thiago Silva and Alexander Gustafsson - who wins and how?
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
This is a significant step up for Alexander Gustafsson. Not only in terms of competition, but the fact that he is in the main event, in front of a hometown crowd who will expect a comfortable win. He does seem to have the temperament to deal with it, though. His ground game is also improving at a rapid rate to compliment his stand up power. Thiago Silva, despite the enforced 15 month lay off, will always have a punchers chance if Gustafsson switches off for a second. Ultimately, though, the size advantage for Gustafsson will prove too much, and I see the Swede winning by TKO in Round Two.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I got to go with Gustafsson by TKO. It should be an exciting fight no matter who wins, though. Gustafsson is on a roll lately and he's only gone to decision in one of his wins. I think he wins this early and convincingly.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Thiago Silva wins via karate chops. Seriously, though, Silva will come back strong and take Gustafsson out. It should be a good fight, but Silva will take this via TKO in the second.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Gustafsson by TKO within the first two rounds is my bet. He’s going to use his go-go-Gustafsson arms and smack Silva around like a rented mule being ridden by a red headed stepchild. Between Gustafsson being the overall better fighter, and Silva having been out of action for so long, I just don’t see a scenario where Thiago can take home a win in this fight. I am expecting short and brutal, with some huge cheers from the crowd as Gustafsson blows right through Silva and closer to the title picture.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Alexander Gustafsson via decision. I don't understand why Gustafsson is more than a 2-1 favorite. It has to be for reasons other than just Thiago Silva's long lay-off. On paper, I'm not even sure Gustafsson should be the favorite. But I'm going to assume the UFC brass (who expect Gustafsson to win) and the odds-makers see something I don't.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
This fight is an interesting one to call. Silva won his last fight in January of 2011 against Brandon Vera in very dominant fashion, but ultimately lost because he was caught using performance enhancing drugs. He served his sentence and is entering the cage after a one year absence. Gustafsson has gone 4-0 in his last four fights and he dominated Vladimir Matyusheenko in his last fight this past August. He is 14-1 and is in my top ten light heavyweights. I think this fight will be a stand up battle with very little of the action taking place on the ground. The ring rust will hurt Silva and he will have trouble with the length and striking of Gustafsson. This one should end with a decision victory for Gustafsson.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Thiago Silva is about as chinny as a fighter can be while still competing at a high level and Alexander Gustafsson punches people in the face. This fight is a real no-brainer for me. I know there are people out there who were dazzled by what Thiago Silva was able to do to a weak Brandon Vera while on PEDs, but he's never fought like that before and I don't expect that he will be able to replicate that performance in the future.
I think Silva would come out aggressive as usual and get smoked by Gustafsson early. I like "The Mauler" by first round knockout.
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