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Alexander Gustafsson targets ‘OSP’ fight after UFC releases Ben Rothwell

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Till Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Alexander Gustafsson is turning to a potential matchup with Ovince Saint Preux following the unexpected release of heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell earlier this week.

“Mauler” was already scheduled to meet Rothwell at UFC Vegas 55 on May 21 in Las Vegas before the promotion pulled the plug on “Big Ben.” That leaves Gustafsson without an opponent as he tries to return to the cage for the first time since a submission loss to Fabricio Werdum back in July 2020.

According to a recent report by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, Gustafsson is hoping that UFC books him a matchup with Saint Preux, who is also a former UFC light heavyweight title challenger.

“With Ben Rothwell out (and subsequently released from UFC), Alexander Gustafsson’s team tells me they want OSP now.”

Saint Preux, 38, has been struggling inside the Octagon of late. “OSP” is coming off back-to-back knockout losses to Jamahal Hill and Tanner Boser and has lost five out of his last seven UFC appearances. This includes a split-decision loss to Rothwell back in 2020.

Fighting Saint Preux wouldn’t be the biggest matchup for Gustafsson in his return to action, but it should give him a solid chance to claim his first victory since a knockout finish over current UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira back in 2017.

What do you think? Should UFC book Gustafsson vs. Saint Preux or look somewhere else?

Let us know in the comments below!