Gustafsson Feeling No Pressure Heading Into Bout with Silva
By George Deutsch:
UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson says he’s feeling no pressure prior to his main event matchup against Thiago Silva in Gustafsson’s native Sweden on April 14 at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva, also known as UFC: Sweden.
Speaking to Karyn Bryant of MMA Heat, “The Mauler” cited his training as the reason for his confidence. The Swede said he has been working out in Las Vegas with Alliance MMA, as team member and UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz films The Ultimate Fighter: Live there.
“I’ve been working with all those [Alliance MMA] guys — Phil Davis, Brandon Vera — and it’s been a great camp. I’ve been having world-class sparring and world-class coaching… So I’m ready.
“I’m feeling good. I’m just doing something I love to do, so I don’t feel any pressure at all. I’m just going to go in there and have fun. I have confidence and I know I’ve been through hell to be here today. So I’m just enjoying every time. … I want to win my fight and one day have a title shot. And when that day comes, I’ll be more than ready.”
Gustafsson said he isn’t expecting any ring rust from Silva, who’s returning from a one-year suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after he falsified a urine sample following his fight with Brandon Vera on Jan. 1, 2011. The fight, which Silva initially won via unanimous decision, was later declared a no contest by NSAC.
“I’m preparing for the best Thiago, and I hope that it’s the best Thiago out there on Saturday.”
For his part, Silva (14-2) is replacing “Lil Nog,” Antônio Rogério Nogueira, on the card, who suffered a knee injury.
Gustafsson (13-1) is coming off victories over Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko and Matt Hamill. He is considered a rising star at 205 lbs. and is currently ranked the #7 light heavyweight by ESPN and #8 by Sherdog.