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Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5 in December could be for a shot at reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, according to UFC President Dana White.
And now it's raising the stakes.
Former 205-pound kingpin Mauricio Rua is set to do battle against top prospect Alexander Gustafsson in the co-main event, with the winner likely moving on to face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, according to promotion president Dana White (via Kimura.se).
Unless, of course, the winner turns in a lousy or tepid performance.
"Shogun" (21-6) got himself back into the championship discussion earlier this year with a technical knockout (TKO) win over Brandon Vera at the UFC on Fox 4 event last August. The former PRIDE phenom hasn't won back-to-back fights since knocking out Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell in consecutive bouts over three years ago.
The Brazilian needs to win -- and win big -- especially considering he already turned down a Jones rematch once before.
Gustafsson (14-1) notched his fifth straight victory by disposing of Thiago Silva via unanimous decision in the UFC on FUEL TV 2 main event back in April. Outside of a submission loss to Phil Davis earlier in his career, the towering Swede has been perfect as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, notching wins over Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko in the process.
But is he championship material? Only one way to prove it.
UFC on FOX 5 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight pitting reigning division champion Ben Henderson against division number one contender Nate Diaz. In addition, Rory MacDonald will try to move to the head of the welterweight class when he tangles with former champion B.J. Penn.
For the full UFC on FOX 5 fight card and line up click here.