Gustafsson not waiting for title shot; ready to step in for Henderson


Fresh off of his victory against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Alexander Gustafsson has staked his claim as the #1 contender to Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title. However, unlike Johny Hendricks, the Swede won’t be waiting around for a title shot. As a matter of fact, if Dan Henderson isn’t ready to go against Lyoto Machida at UFC 157.

“I want to stay active, and I want to fight,” said Gustafsson after his victory at UFC on Fox. “I’ll fight whenever. I was away for a long time. The last time I fought was in April, and that was too long. To wait till summer again, that would be too long.”

Gustafsson had been relatively inactive over the past year as the Shogun fight was only his second in the last 12 months. His other victory against Thiago Silva in April. But considering that he’s still often considered a prospect, Gustafsson is likely in need of some more fights before he steps into the cage with a dominant fighter like Jon Jones. Dana White agrees. “If I was him, I’d want to get another fight in before taking on Jon Jones,” White said. “He could fight again. I’m hearing Dan Henderson’s knee isn’t better, so maybe Gustafsson should fight Machida next.”

Word is that Dan Henderson’s condition may prevent him from facing Machida on February 23. If that’s the case, Gustafsson says he will gladly step in and face Machida. This isn’t to say he doesn’t want the title shot, he just isn’t going to sit around a wait for it.

“I want to fight for the belt, and if they give me one before that, it doesn’t matter. I’ll fight whoever the UFC gives me.”