"He's a great fighter but he's not a good sportsman. He's lacking in respect in his fights and it just makes me more motivated to fight him...I'm a professional and I stick to my game. He will probably do it too so I'm prepared for it. It's not going to affect me at all," Gustafsson said as he addressed Silva's lack of respect for his teammate, Brandon Vera.
What Silva might lack in sportsmanship, he makes up for in talent and Silva will pose a significant test for the rising 25-year-old Gustafsson. Gustafsson has already defeated UFC veterans in Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, cleaning up "The Janitor" in his last bout via first round TKO at UFC 141.
"I would say I'm much better at technical striking than he is but you know, he's got some good power and you can't underestimate him. You have to stay away from it and keep my guard up," Gustafsson said.
Silva's power has led the Brazilian to 11 TKO/KO wins out of his 14 MMA victories.
"I like to use my range and that's one of my strengths and a tactic I try to use in every fight. I will definitely be using it against him," Gustafsson said.
This will be Silva's first bout in over a year after serving a suspension linked to a failed drug test following UFC 125. It will be interesting to see how Silva will perform after the layoff.
If Gustafsson can score a victory over another UFC veteran in Silva, he will no doubt be considered among the best at light heavyweight and one step closer towards contesting for UFC gold.
Gustafsson vs. Silva is set for UFC on Fuel TV 2 on April 14.