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Alexander Gustafsson to Rumble Johnson: Thanks But No Thanks

Alexander Gustafsson to Rumble Johnson: Thanks But No Thanks

UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson has responded to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s recent challenge.

That response: no. A flat, and mostly polite, no.

Johnson, who had a nasty exchange with ex-teammate Alistair Overeem yesterday (as reported here by Dana Becker), called out “The Mauler” in a Facebook post last Wednesday:

@AlexTheMauler I respect you as a fighter but this is business. @danawhite said our fight makes sense. There’s nobody left for us to fight plus the fans are begging for us to fight so let’s give the fans what they wanna see!

UFC President Dana White had indeed described the fight as “making sense” in a recent interview, saying it’s not going to be possible for Gustafsson to sit and wait for a title shot.

Gustafsson, however, begs to differ.

“If it is so that they guarantee me a title match in Sweden… I can wait three years,” Gustafsson said to Swedish tabloid Expressen. “Then it does not matter.”

Gustafsson noted that the UFC’s plans include a possible bout in Sweden in 2015.

Regarding Johnson, Gustafsson sees the man called “Rumble” still a few bouts away from contention:

“Had that fight taken me somewhere I had been the first to accept,” he said. “Since (Johnson’s) return to the UFC after being kicked out, he has beaten Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who passed his expiration date a long time ago, and Phil Davis. He needs at least a couple (of more wins).”

Johnson was released by the UFC in 2012 due to continued issues with weight management, but has enjoyed a successful return this year with two decisive wins. Gustafsson fought UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones to a close decision last year, but has not received an anticipated return bout.

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