Since the UFC announced that light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones will fight Glover Teixeira next, there’s been considerable speculation as to who Alexander Gustafsson would fight next, particularly because of his memorable performance at UFC 165. Well, after UFC Fight Night 30 concluded today in Manchester, the promotion announced that “The Mauler” will fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, March 8th in London, England.
So, considering Daniel Cormier has made it clear he’s not interested in making his light-heavyweight debut overseas, and that Gustafsson and Phil Davis are training partners, the news isn’t too surprising. UFC President Dana White has also reportedly announced that if Gustafsson wins, and Jones beats Teixeira, a rematch with “Bones” is a done deal (which is also not surprising).
Nogueira (21-5) hasn’t fought since February when he scored a UD win over Rashad Evans. The 37 year-old fighter was scheduled to fight “Shogun” Rua at UFC 161, but was forced to drop out due to injury. Prior to facing Evans he took out Tito Ortiz in the first round at UFC 140, after dropping consecutive fights to Ryan Bader and Phil Davis.
Although”Lil Nog” might not have the same buzz following him right now as Cormier, he is a ridiculously tough vet with dangerous striking and submission skills. So, in other words, it should be a tough test for “The Mauler.”
Gustafsson (15-2) battled Jones for five hard rounds at UFC 165 but lost by unanimous decision to the champion. The Swedish fighter was expected to headline an event in his country next, but clearly plans have changed.
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