Winner's Circle: What victory means for UFC Fight Night 37's featured fighters

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

What does victory mean for Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa, Melvin Guillard and Michael Johnson this Saturday (March 8, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 37 in London, England? We explore the consequences below.

Start cooking up the bangers and mash ... Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed back to England.

UFC Fight Night 37: "Gustafsson vs. Manuwa" takes place this Saturday (March 8, 2014) at O2 Arena in London, England, and the only way to watch it go down is if you sign up for Fight Pass.

The online-only event (unless you live outside America or have your own ways of watching) features former light heavyweight championship contender Alexander Gustafsson taking on Jimi Manuwa in the main event, which is sure to be one hell of a fun fight.

Speaking of fun fights, Melvin Guillard will have to settle for duking it out against his former training partner Michael Johnson in the co-main event, after his rematch with Ross Pearson was scratched due to the Englishman's injury.

With the majority of this card's excitement focused on these two bouts, let us look into the near future and map out what a victory on Saturday night might mean for these four featured fighters.

Here we go:

Alexander Gustafsson

To quote Dana White whenever he's sure of something, yet can't confirm the news, Gustafsson "probably" gets a title shot with a win over Jimi Manuwa.

"We'll see what happens."

We're not going to break down the possibilities of a rematch of UFC 165's epic light heavyweight main event, because most of the fandom (and pundits) know a second fight between Gustafsson and Jon Jones is inevitable.

"The Mauler" also gains a bit more respect, if that's even possible, after seeing him excel and surprise the masses in his last outing inside the Octagon. The light heavyweight division has contenders like Daniel Cormier, Rashad Evans, and Phil Davis; however, the rest of the division is just flat-out weak.

The Swede has a chance to prove he is a better option for Jones in comparison to the fighters previously mentioned. "DC" still has to prove he belongs in the 205-pound division since he beat a Starbucks employee, Evans is on the shelf with a bum knee, and Davis didn't make too many friends with his questionable win over Machida at UFC 163 in Brazil.

In addition, "Mr. Wonderful" has Anthony Johnson to worry about at UFC 172.

If "Gusty" disposes "Poster Boy" in impressive fashion, he leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that he is the second-best light heavyweight on the planet, not to mention, one of the best fighters to emerge out of Europe in quite some time.

Jimi Manuwa

We know it would be a huge win ... but what does it mean in the long run?

The "Poster Boy" is serving as a replacement to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and he steps into the biggest fight of his life on his home turf of England.

Simply put, Gustafsson may be too experienced and difficult for Manuwa to handle. If the Nigerian-born powerhouse shocks the world on Saturday, it's not like he's stealing Gustafsson's title fight.

We're dealing with a scenario where the underdog could make waves without earning any reward for his cause. He'll get another great fighter to deal with at a later date and he paves the way for another top-five contender to face the winner of the "Jones vs. Teixeira" main event UFC 172.

Manuwa would move to 15-0 and it would be a great accomplishment for him, yet that very same accomplishment muddies the light heavyweight waters in 2014.

Melvin Guillard

Guillard was already 18-4-2 (1 NC) in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career before making his debut as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season two. He's currently 31-12-2 (2 NC) and holds the record for most knockout or technical knockout victories in the lightweight division at eight.

The most depressing part about those stats is Guillard was never close to contending for a title. His five-fight winning streak during the course of 2010-2011 was a good enough reason to have him considered as a top contender; however, after losing two bouts by rear-naked choke in the first round in his next two fights, "The Young Assassin" was deemed as another wolf in the middle of the pack.

Since his impressive run almost four years ago, he's only got two wins out of his past seven.

With the constant change of fight camps (hopefully) behind him, "The Young Assassin" needs to focus on the rest of his career by putting the past behind him, regardless of the combination of his achievements and failures. His job may not be on the line; however, the future of his career is.

A win is necessary for Guillard to prove he's still one of the best in the division, no matter how entertaining he can be.

Michael Johnson

After witnessing what Michael Johnson has done in the cage as of late, it's mind boggling to think he lost in TUF 12 finale against Jonathan Brookins just over three years ago.

With a promotional record of 6-4, "The Menace" has managed to string together two impressive wins over Gleison Tibau and Joe Lauzon, in which he thoroughly dominated both opponents and knocked out Tibau in gruesome fashion.

But Johnson struggles in fights he should win easily and this will be another stiff test for him to overcome on Saturday night.

It's difficult to assess his positioning if he wins against Guillard, since three-straight victories may not even be enough to list him in any top 10 ranking system, as the 155-pound division is stacked to the rafters.

A beating over Guillard puts Johnson higher on our lists, but it's not like he's going to be rushed into the title conversation, either. He'll get a bigger name with a win on Saturday night and the main objective for him is to stay consistent and make those impressive triumphs count.

That just about does it for this edition of "Winner's Circle."

MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 37 fight card starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET, right on through the main card -- also on Fight Pass -- which is slated to begin at 3 p.m. ET.

Enjoy the fights!

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