Scratched from UFC 133, veteran and prospect realigned for December 30
The light heavyweights were originally slated to face-off at UFC 133 in August, but Matyushenko was forced from the bout due to injury. Matt Hamill stepped in on short notice as his replacement, and Gustafsson proceeded to finish the former TUF 3 standout, earning a technical knockout three-and-a-half minutes into the second round. It would prove to be the last fight of Hamill’s career.
Now healed and ready to return, the Belarusian veteran known as “The Janitor” will once again look to stop the steady climb of the impressive young Swede, while continuing his own move up the light heavyweight ladder.
Since returning to the UFC in September 2009 after a six year hiatus, Matyushenko has put together a 5-1 record; his lone loss came to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. The 40-year-old has earned stoppages in each of his last two outings, needing just 20 seconds to knock out Jason Brilz at UFC 129 in Toronto back in April.
With his excellent wrestling background, surprising strength, and proven knockout power, Matyushenko will be an excellent test for Gustafsson. The 24-year-old from Stockholm has rebounded nicely after losing to Phil Davis at UFC 112, working with “Mr. Wonderful” and the Alliance MMA team ever since. He’s put together three strong performances since, stopping Cyrille Diabate, James Te Huna, and Hamill respectively.
UFC 141 is set to take place Friday, December 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is expected to be headlined by a heavyweight collision between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem.
Be sure to keep checking Heavy MMA for further UFC 141 fight announcements.