Alex targets Silva lining

Home star favourite to continue title tilt

By Jonathan Witty - Twitter: @skybet_Jonathan.   Last Updated: 13/04/12 3:07pm

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UFC Sweden: The stage is set for Gustafsson to make his mark

UFC Sweden: The stage is set for Gustafsson to make his mark

Sky Bet

Swedish star Alexander Gustafsson is the firm favourite with the bookmakers as he takes on Thiago Silva on his homecoming at UFC on Fuel 2.

The 25-year-old will enter the Octagon in Stockholm as 2/5 favourite with Sky Bet and is eyeing a victory to complete a five-match winning streak.

His opponent is coming off a 14-month absence from the UFC after failing a drugs test at the star of last year, with his decision victory over Brandon Vera overturned by the NSAC.

Prior to that, the Brazilian had competed with elite level fighters including former Light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, with the former fortunate to escape a final-round flurry from Silva and record a decision victory.

But despite facing illustrious in the past, the online betting company clearly believes he will suffer from ring rust and have priced him at 15/8 outsider.

Gustafsson has only gone to a decision once in his career and looks good value at 7/4 to end this battle within the distance with a TKO/KO.

Although Silva is no pushover, and has only suffered one TKO defeat in his career, the 'Mauler' is on a tear and is can use the Brazilian as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Comeback

In the co-main event, there is a clash of two Middleweight fighters aiming to bounce back for different reasons as Brian Stann takes on Alessio Sakara.

Italian fighter Sakara has suffered a miserable 12-month period in which the Italian broke his foot, and after he recovered from the fracture he suffered a torn cruciate ligament.

Meanwhile, Stann is determined to bounce back from a convincing defeat to Chael Sonnen at UFC 136 and re-establish himself as a contender in the Middleweight division.

And while Sonnen has gone on to face Anderson Silva at UFC 147, the former US Marine is the big 1/4 favourite to gain momentum against by beating the Italian.

Sakara (3/1) was on a three-fight winning run before a narrow decision defeat to Chris Weidmann in March 2011, but his injury woes could hamper him.

Again, both fighters like to strike - with the pair boasting 17 KO wins between them - so back the fight not to go the distance.

Elsewhere on the main card, Peterborough fighter John Maguire (10/11) aims to build on a win in his first UFC fight at UFC 138 against DaMarques Johnson and Bantamweight star Brad Pickett is 4/9 favourite to bounce back from defeat to Renan Barao when he takes on Damacio Page (7/4).

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