With Jon Jones scheduled to face Glover Teixeira sometime in 2014, it left Alexander Gustafsson without a high-level opponent. Some assumed that "the Mauler" would welcome Daniel Cormier to the light heavyweight division, but it appears that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matchmaker, Joe Silva, has other plans.
Gustafsson was in attendance at yesterday's (Oct. 26, 2013) UFC Fight Night 30 card in Manchester, England and participated in the post-fight press conference. At the press conference, UFC President Dana white announced that the UFC would be returning to England in March with an event in London.
The Swede spoke about the bout and seems genuinely excited about the matchup with "Lil Nog."
Well, I'm super excited to be fighting in London. I've fought there before and I'm very excited to fight there again with Lil Nog. We were supposed to fight way back and we didn't. And now I've got the chance to fight him again and I'm really looking forward to it. He's a great standup striker and a really good opponent.
As far as match ups go, this one accomplishes two things. The first is that it will present a very real test to "the Mauler." Nogueira not only has high-level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) but also world-class boxing as a bronze metal winner at the 2007 Pan-American Games.
Second and more importantly, it keeps Gustafsson busy. He should be the favorite heading into the fight and really should walk away with the victory. At this point he's the better fighter and should be able to pick up another "name" win on his way back to the light heavyweight title picture.
Gustafsson is at the front of a very short line for the light heavyweight title. Hopefully he can earn himself a rematch with Jon Jones after beating "Lil Nog".