Alexander Gustafsson has a new grappler in the room at Nexus Fight Center, and it is non other than bronze Olympic wrestler Jimmy Lidberg. Gustafsson is getting ready for his high profile bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, which takes place December 8 at Seattle’s KeyArena.
Shogun has been showing a shift in strategy, using his wrestling and taking the fight to the ground in recent fights. In the war against Brandon Vera at UFC on Fox 4, Rua showed that when needed, he could use take-downs to move the fight to the mat. With the supreme striking of the STHLM Shoot fighter, this top-level wrestling practice with Lidberg will allow the Swede to keep the fight on the feet and avoid any take-downs.
“I prefer standing fighting and it is my strength. To overall be even better, I need special training wrestling. And I am convinced that Jimmy Lidberg is the right person to help me, considering all the experience he has” says Gustavsson to SVT Sport in a recent interview.
“It feels really good. I have long been interested in the UFC. And to be involved and help make Alexander Gustavsson better at wrestling part is incredibly inspiring. I do not think people generally understand how big he is in the U.S.” says Jimmy Lidberg.
This high profile fight for Gustafsson will propel the Mauler closer to a title shot. The bout will be seen in the USA on open TV, and will be an important fight for the Swede looking to also gain popularity and name recognition. A win of Shogun on the largest viewing audience –the fight is the co-main event, featured above B.J. Penn and Rory MacDonald– platform could propel Gustafsson to MMA stardom.
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