Gustafsson and Davis find new fights

alex Gustafsson and Phil Davis
Phil Davis and Alexander Gustafsson are already seeking out new opponents.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


Two of the UFC's top light heavyweights are gunning to get back in action, and their trainer has some ideas for who he'd like to see them face.

First up is Alexander Gustafsson, who saw his stock rise tremendously even in defeat when he went five full rounds with Jon Jones in their recent fight at UFC 165. The Swede came up short, losing a unanimous decision, and also had his heart broken when the UFC opted against offering him an automatic rematch.

Still, Gustafsson gave Jones a battle unlike any fighter before him, and his popularity and notoriety skyrocketed after the war in Toronto.

Now on the comeback trail with a fight promised in his homeland of Sweden in early 2014, Gustafsson's trainer Eric Del Fierro told UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that he would like to see him get a fight against either Ryan Bader or Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for his next trip to the Octagon.

Currently, Nogueira isn't booking a fight due to his upcoming nuptials for a November wedding, but he could still potentially be available in early 2014. Bader on the other hand is coming off a loss to Glover Teixeira in his last fight at UFC Fight Night 28, and has never turned down a top 10 matchup when the UFC comes calling.

The other fighter currently training alongside Gustafsson at their home gym Alliance MMA in San Diego is former NCAA champion Phil Davis, who is still awaiting word on his next fight after defeating former UFC light heavyweight title holder Lyoto Machida back in August.

Del Fierro says he likes a potential fight for Davis matched up against former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi.

Mousasi is still mending a wounded knee that he had surgery on earlier this year, but there may be an even bigger issue with the fight coming together. According to Mousasi's manager Nima Safapour who spoke to Fox Sports on Wednesday, the fighter is focused on a move down to middleweight.

Safapour added that as of now Mousasi in looking towards two goals in the UFC—the middleweight title and a fight against Anderson Silva.

The UFC has yet to comment on potential opponents for either Gustafsson or Davis at this time, and it seems both will play the waiting game until the right matchups come along.

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