31 Aug Alexander Gustafsson Assured of Next Title Shot, But Still Needs to Fight One More Time
After weeks of silent negotiations with the UFC brass, it appears Alexander Gustafsson ultimately got what he wanted.
“The Mauler” posted an update in his Facebook account revealing details about the talks he had with Zuffa owner Lorenzo Fertitta. And it could possibly bigger than originally anticipated as Gustafsson sait it could happen right in his own yard.
“Me and my team had a great call with the big boss Mr. Lorenzo Fertitta. I got a guarantee that I will face the winner of Jones or Cormier for a title shot and that it could happen in here in Sweden,” wrote the 27-year-old Swede.
The likelihood of the fight happening in the Scandinavian country is probably hinged on the turnout of the UFC Fight Night Stockholm on October 4. This prompted Gustafsson to rally his troops and called for support at the upcoming event at the Ericsson Globe Arena, only the third UFC card ever hosted by Sweden.
“So I would like to ask my fans here in Sweden to come and show your support in Globen 4th of October for my team-mates, Ilir Latifi, Niklas Bäckström, Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad, Tor Troéng and the remaining fighters and show to the UFC that we can make some proper noise,” he continued. “We need to show UFC that we really can fill up an arena for 60,000 people for the title fight and what kind of atmosphere they can expect when we break the record of the biggest audience ever for any sports event in Sweden.”
“That is what I want, I want Jones or DC, the winner to come here and fight me, I deserve that! With that said, meanwhile, if the UFC wants, I am ready to fight any other opponent they put in front of me.”
And therein lies the rub: The “win-or-loss in his next fight and still a title crack” scenario is just too good to be true.
Is the UFC really kind enough to give Gustafsson a free pass to a title match regardless of the result of his next non-title bout? Is the world’s top MMA promotion that confident of the towering Swede, ostensibly predicting he can pull off a win against any opponent put in front of him? Of all people, they should know there’s no such thing as a sure win on this level, unless of course they’re planning to give Kimbo Slice for him to rip and tear.
Meanwhile, there wouldn’t be no shortage of opponents for the Alliance MMA standout as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has expressed keen interest of fighting Gustafsson. Johnson, who was ridiculously a welterweight once, has been on a nice spree lately with dominant wins over Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Gus, though, is apparently unimpressed.
“I have fought both worse and better opponents. Had that (Johnson) fight taken me somewhere, I would have been the first to accept,” explains the Stockholm native in an interview with a Swedish online journal. “Since his 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 wins more.”
Gustafsson could choose to trade blows with Glover Teixeira or Rashad Evans but UFC president Dana White already admitted a Gustafsson- Johnson matchup makes the most sense as of now. Stylistically and momentum-wise, that’s a dream encounter, no doubt. It may be the biggest future non-title fight this side of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, only it could happen much sooner!
Whatever path the Swede opts to tread, it’s somewhat a Utopian situation for him to earn his first paycheck since March and move on for a championship match regardless of the result. Looking forward, that will all depend on Fertitta and White being true to their word. It’s not like they have pulled the wool over somebody’s eyes in the past, haven’t they?
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