Surging Light Heavyweight prospect, and top division contender, Alexander Gustafsson, will have his hands full at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 6, 2013, when he welcomes former Strikeforce 185-pound champion, Gegard Mousasi, to the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion at UFC on FUEL TV 9.
Kimura.se recently revealed that sweet showdown, which will likely serve as the main event, is in the works.
It's a match up that may not come as a surprise to most fight fans because Mousasi has been beating the drum, albeit in his quiet, monotone fashion, to hook 'em with Gustafsson upon his UFC transition. And like fellow Strikeforce stablemates Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez -- who both called out Frank Mir and Ben Henderson, respectively -- his wish was apparently granted.
"I'm not challenging (Alexander Gustafsson), but I think that's a good fight," said Mousasi in this post-fight interview after he defeated Mike Kyle via submission last weekend at Strikeforce's final MMA event. "I want to fight him because he's a good fighter; people think he's a good fighter."
Indeed, Gustafsson is currently one of the very best in the division, riding a six-fight win streak inside the Octagon after dropping his sophomore effort to Phil Davis at UFC 112 way back in 2010. After his unanimous decision win over Mauricio Rua at UFC on Fox 5 last month (Dec. 2012), it was widely believed that "The Mauler" would earn the next opportunity to challenge division champion Jon Jones.
In fact, UFC President Dana White said that it would "definitely" be the case; however, he was soon forced to backtrack when it was announced that Chael Sonnen would battle "Bones" and coach opposite the phenom on the set of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise after Gustafsson struggled with "Shogun," meaning that he might not have been ready for such a stiff test so soon into his professional career.
Mousasi, however, is certainly no pushover and definitely not a significant step down in competition.
In the past six years, the Armenian has only lost one fight, to Muhammad Lawal in April 2010, which cost him his Strikeforce belt. He won the Dream Middleweight Grand Prix in 2008 and, two years prior to that, was bounced out of the Pride FC Welterweight Grand Prix. But, in an alternate bout, he scored a unanimous decision over Hector Lombard.
Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, Ronaldo Souza and Mark Hunt, among many other notables, have all fallen to Mousasi throughout his bright career. And now he'll look to add Gustafsson's name to that impressive hit list.
UFC on FUEL TV 9 is unofficial at this time and no other bouts are rumored for the promotion's quick return trip to Sweden.