Alexander Gustafsson was expected to have a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones after “The Mauler’ nearly dethroned the champ at last month’s UFC 165. When Jones re-watched their title tilt and surmised that he had done enough to decisively win, he made the decision to fight Glover Teixeira next.
Then, after last weekend’s UFC 166, Daniel Cormier was nominated as Gustafsson’s next opponent by “DC’s” head coach Javier Mendez. Cormier said he didn’t want to fight Gustafsson in Sweden; Gus said he’d fight him anywhere.
But at today’s UFC Fight Night 30 press conference, it was announced that Gustafsson would officially face off with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at a yet-to-be-named UFC event that will take place on March 8, 2014, in London, England. Gustafsson and “’Lil Nog” were set to face off way back at UFC on Fuel TV 2, but Nogueira was forced out of the bout with a knee injury. That’s defnitely been his kryptonite as of late. When Nogueira does get in the cage he impressed; his last fight was a win over former champion Rashad Evans at UFC 156 in February.
The event is also slated to feature a rematch between Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson after their co-main event bout at UFN 30 ended in extremely controversial fashion. It can be debated as to whether Guillard’s big knees to Pearson were illegal or not, but some sort of rule clarification has to be implemented to prevent so many close calls. Perhaps instant replay would help.
“The Mauler” will begin his trek back towards a coveted title shot against “’Lil Nog” next spring. Do you like this fight? Or should Gustafsson be facing off with a fighter with a higher ranking and more recent experience? Time will tell if Nogueira can derail “The Mauler’s” hype.