Gustafsson arrives with a six fight win streak and the home town advantage against the well rounded former Strikeforce product Gegard Mousasi. For those unfamiliar with Mousasi, he boasts a submission win over Mark Hunt, decision win over Hector Lombard, and a KO victory over Ronaldo Souza.
The winner of this fight however, will have to wait for their opportunity at a title shot. First, Chael Sonnen will be facing Bones Jones, and then the winner of this matchup is scheduled to fight Lyoto Machida after his win over Dan Henderson at UFC 157. Assuming Jones wins this matchup, will the fans appreciate seeing a rematch with Machida after his first round-winning performance against Bones?
2. Henderson vs. Melendez- (UFC on Fox Live from San Jose, CA-Lightweight Championship)
The Cesar Gracie camp could definitely do with a win right now after Nick Diaz’s title fight loss to GSP. There is a lot of hype surrounding Melendez being the former Strikeforce Champion. Henderson has definitely fought some tough customers within the UFC which may give him the edge coming into this bout. Nate Diaz, who lost to Henderson in December 2012, may be the secret weapon in assisting Melendez in his preparation. Melendez’s last fight was a decision win against Josh Thompson back in May, 2012. Subsequent matches for Melendez however were cancelled due to injuries he sustained in training. Will the ring rust get the better of Melendez?
Daniel Cormier is a former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and Olympic wrestler, coming in with a perfect record of 11-0 to face UFC veteran Frank Mir. Cormier has scored impressive wins over Josh Barnett and Bigfoot Silva and is likely to be a favourite coming into this bout. The biggest danger in this fight for Cormier will be Frank Mir’s dangerous submission attempts.
Former Strikeforce fighter Meisha Tate faces the undefeated Cat Zingano with the winner coaching on the next series of TUF 18. There has never been a bigger opportunity for either fighter as the winner will square off against the UFC’s Queen Rhonda Rousey. Meisha comes into this fight healthy after suffering a devastating arm bar injury to Rhonda in early 2012. Cat Zingano’s big advantage will be her impressive resume, a 4 time all American and National champion wrestler competing on team USA. Cat is also well versed in Brazilian Jujitsu with submission victories on her record.
Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold faces the always dangerous Vitor Belfort in Brazil. Vitor recently finished Michael Bisping with a devastating head kick in Sao Paulo Brazil and is likely to be the favourite going into this bout with his KO power and solid Brazilian Jiujitsu game. Vitor Belfort however, is unlikely to escape criticism coming into the fight with his controversial use of TRT.
Will the former Strikeforce fighters be able to showcase their dominance? Leave your thoughts below.