A lot of MMA fans and longtime MMA spectators had some thoughts about what the UFC did to promote UFC 192 wherein they featured Alexander Gustafsson’s height of 6’5”.
The top MMA promotion company may actually look like it’s on the rocks if this is the best strategy that they can do to promote the event.
Dominick Cruz, a former UFC bantamweight champ and now a FOX UFC analyst, is not into creating commercials for the UFC, but he is fairly certain that height will play a huge part in Gustafsson’s second chance at going for the title against current champion Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson currently has an MMA record of 16-3 MMA and 8-3 UFC. Daniel Cormier, on the other hand, has a record of 16-1 MMA and 5-1 UFC. Both of these great fighters will go head to head this coming Saturday at UFC 192 held in Houston’s Toyota Center. Main card fights will be televised live after the prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
“(Cormier has) got to close range – we know that, and he’s got to look for underhooks and look for the wrestling. He’s talking about Alex being tall, and how much easier it is for him to take him down. Well, to an extent, that’s right. D.C.’s favorite move is that single leg. He landed it on Jon Jones. If he can hit it on Jon Jones the same way on Alex, Alex is going to have a long night. Because D.C. really only has to take down Alex one time and D.C.’s go-to is riding people out. We saw him do it against Anthony Johnson; we saw him to it to (Pat) Cummins. If he can do it to them, he can definitely hold down an Alexander Gustafsson, and that’s what’s really going to make the difference in the fight for D.C. He needs to take him down and keep him there. The good thing is, everything that Alex does kind of gives that single-leg up,” Cruz said during a recent interview with MMAjunkie Radio.
Cruz added that this is where physicality could be useful and make a huge difference. With Gustafsson’s physique, Cruz pointed out that the downside of it is that it may not be easy to control inside the octagon especially when being used to counter Cormier’s preferred method of defeating his opponents.
“The bigger they are, the easier their legs touch the ground. The balance is weird with long, lanky guys. So I see Alex being a little harder to get ahold of than D.C. thinks. But D.C.’s good at making adjustments. So we’ve got to see if D.C. can get Alex down a round or two,” Cruz said.
Cruz also said that if mixed martial arts champ Gustafsson can manage to do the right set of techniques, there’s a possibility that he can get the whole thing work in favor of him. Cormier will most likely have to corner Gustafsson in order to get dominate him. Gustafsson, on the other hand, knows very well what happens when the champ gets close so he will have to make sure he avoids this kind of situation.
“He needs to stay on his bike and do what he’s always done.Use lateral movement and angles and footwork to use his jab and his movement. The second he stays still, the bigger problem it’s going to be. What happens to a lot of strikers vs. wrestlers is they end up backing up the whole time instead of moving forward to keep the jab in their face. It’s imperative that Alex move forward. If D.C. keeps moving forward, he gets stronger and gets better, and the pressure he puts on Alex will wear Alex down.
“Alex can move forward with that jab as long as he lines up that lead leg up with the right leg of Cormier. When he does that, it lands the uppercut right up the middle for Daniel, and if Daniel decides to shoot, Alex has got an angle still so he’s not directly in front of Daniel. He’s naturally lined up, so any time D.C. puts his head down, he’s lined up for a power uppercut, and any time he decides to shoot, he can cut the angle,” Cruz said.
Simply put, there’s a chance that Gustafsson can take away Cormier’s best chance to beat him.
“If this fight stays floating out in the open for the whole fight, it’s going to be a rough night for D.C.,” Cruz added.