Top light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa and Alexander Gustafsson train together in Sweden

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Jimi Manuwa and Alexander Gustafsson have been training together in Sweden ahead of the British fighter's showdown with Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.

The two fighters fought earlier this year in March at UFC Fight Night 37, in the headline bout of a card that broadcast on terrestrial TV in the UK, and Gustafsson made short work of Manuwa in the process.

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Instead of holding a grudge, Manuwa has reached out to the Swede in order to help him defeat 'Shogun' - who Gustafsson beat before.

Fighting was just business

"We'd always been planning to work together to help each other out," Manuwa told FOX Sports in an interview. "The fight was business. We got the business done and now we train together."

"I'm learning new things," he said. "I'm used to training in the same places with the same people. I'm picking up new tricks and new tips from the coaches. I've learned so much being here so far."

Before his fight with Gustafsson, Manuwa had never lost a fight and was an outside shot at getting a title shot but since then, he's been missing off the UFC radar. Now, after going up against one of the UFC's elite fighters, this will be his biggest challenge as for the first time in his career he won't be fighting in front of a British crowd.

Out of the Lion's den and into the Portuguese flames

He laughed off any suggestions that he would have any issues with the crowd saying "I don’t understand Portuguese. It'll go over my head and I won't know what they're saying. I've got tough skin. It doesn't matter. It's just going to be me and 'Shogun' in a cage."

A win over Shogun will catapult the Londoner back into the frames of a possible title shot, especially with a knock-out, which would be the 13th of his career.

If UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones can get through Daniel Cormier and Manuwa's new best friend, Gustafsson then there's a big spot to fill and not many other contenders.

Anthony Johnson has a long list of legal troubles to get over, Phil Davis is in serious need of an impressive win streak over top contenders, and the likes of Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira have recent losses to Jones.

So there's a very real chance for Manuwa to secure a title shot in 2015 - which would be a huge turnaround considering he only started fighting in 2008 - and one that's he's very aware of.

"That's real scary, because I'm in the top [11] already," Manuwa said. "I'm still learning. I haven't reached where I'm going to be yet. It's going to be hell for everyone else, because my game just continues to go up."

Alexander Gustafsson
Jon Jones

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