With a win over Gegard Mousasi at UFC on FUEL TV 9, Alexander Gustafsson - - according to promotion president Dana White -- would have been next in line to face current 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones. But a cut to "The Mauler's" eye forced him out of the bout against "The Dreamcatcher."
However, the unfortunate injury could have been a blessing in disguise.
After "Bones" ran through Chael Sonnen last weekend (April 27, 2013) at UFC 159, Jones revealed he wanted to fight Gustafsson next, not Lyoto Machida, who earned himself a shot at the title after besting Dan Henderson at UFC 157 earlier this year.
Then Jon had to go and break his big toe.
Thanks to his gruesome injury, Jones could be out for an extended break. As much as big Gus wants his title shot, he doesn't want to wait too long to get back into the Octagon.
Enter "The Dragon."
Appearing on The MMA Hour, "The Mauler" says should Jones be unfit to return in a timely fashion, he has no qualms in taking on Machida in a No. 1 contender bout:
"I want to fight Jones. I want to fight for the title, that's what I want to do. But, I am not going to wait for a long time because I fought in December. I fought 'Shogun' in December and I want to fight soon, so. I want to fight in a couple of months, at least. I want to fight soon. If Jones can't fight, which I would understand because (his injury) looked very nasty and could be out awhile, then I will fight Machida, too. But, if Jones can fight in a few months, I would love to fight him."
Gustafsson revealed he is now "100-percent" healed of his cut and is more than ready to get back into the swing of things. As far as being called out by "Bones," he doesn't see it as a sign of disrespect, but rather as an "honor and a compliment."
Wanting to be a company man, Gus is more than willing to fight Lyoto in the interim if UFC matchmakers choose that option instead, but only if Jones is scheduled to be out longer than September of this year.
However, a fight against the former light heavyweight champion, Machida, could prove to be a dangerous roll of the dice for the towering Swede.
Lyoto is down (read his comments here) and a reluctant Gus is as well, so all that's left to do is sign on the dotted line. Or wait to see just how long Jones will be on the sidelines.
Which fight makes more sense to you?