Alexander Gustafsson’s path back to a light heavyweight title
shot will go through London, England on March 8 when he faces
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his next bout.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement about the fight
at the UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz post fight press
White also guaranteed that if Gustafsson beats Nogueira, he will
get the next shot at the light heavyweight title against the winner
of Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira, who will fight in the first
quarter of 2014. Gustafsson battled Jones to a close decision at
UFC 165 in one of the best fights of the year, but he came up short
in his bid to become champion. The fight was so impressive,
however, that the UFC was willing to give him another shot if he
can get a win in his next bout.
Gustafsson was scheduled to face Nogueira once before at a UFC
on Fuel TV event in his home country of Sweden, but the Brazilian
was forced to pull out of the bout due to injury.
Now the pair of top ten light heavyweights will square off in
March, 2014 with title implications on the line.
Nogueira has been out of action since February when he pulled
off a unanimous decision victory over Rashad Evans at UFC 156,
which marked his second win in a row inside the Octagon. Injuries
have hampered Nogueira from returning since that time as he was
originally scheduled to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 161
before dropping out of the event.
Now Nogueira will have a chance to get back in action against a
top rated contender with the opportunity to enter his name into the
title race with a victory.
Also announced at the UFC Fight Night post fight press
conference, Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard will rematch at the
upcoming event on March 8 in London after their fight ended on
Saturday by no contest. The controversial ending happened after
Guillard landed two knee strikes with at least one of them deemed
illegal while Pearson’s hand was on the mat. During the pause in
action due to the illegal strike, the doctor checked out Pearson
and one of the knee strikes caused a huge gash on his forehead that
forced the fight to be stopped.