The Swedish light heavyweight is getting ready to face Glover Teixeira at UFC Stockholm in May. And after that he’s got a couple of career milestones in mind.
When Alexander Gustafsson faced Jon Jones at UFC 165 back in 2013, he’d only lost once. An early-career submission to Phil Davis, in his second fight for the then-Zuffa promotion. After that loss, he went on a tear, submitting Cyrille Diabate and James Te Huna, KOing Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, and taking decisions from Thiago Silva and Shogun Rua.
Then he gave Jon Jones what many consider to be the toughest fight of the former champion’s title reign. Some even say that Gustafsson won that fight and deserved the judges decision. Since that loss, however, things have been a little less even. A TKO win over Jimi Manuwa was followed by a TKO loss to Anthony Johnson and then a split decision loss to Daniel Cormier. Gus rebounded from those defeats with an uninspiring win over Jan Blachowicz, and has another chance to build momentum with a bout against Glover Teixeira at UFC Stockholm this May.
A win over Teixeira could put Gustafsson back in title contention, especially in the current, paper-thin light heavyweight division. But, getting another title shot isn’t the only goal the ’Mauler’ has in mind (transcript via MMA Junkie).
“Jones is one of those fights I think everybody wants,” Gustafsson told reporters at today’s UFC Fight Night 109 news conference. “It’s a hard choice because you have the belt, and you have Jones. Jones is a true champ in my eyes (because he never lost the belt in the octagon). There’s no one like him, and to beat him would be as big as being the world champ.”
Jones is currently riding the pine under the restrictions of a year long suspension from the UFC and USADA stemming from a failed drug test surrounding a planned UFC 200 bout against Daniel Cormier. Cormier, as the current title holder, is set to face Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 in April and – as Dana White himself has teased – the winner is likely set to face Jon Jones sometime this summer. If Jones manages to take back the UFC title, that could put Gustafsson in the perfect place to make his two goals one reality.
UFC Stockholm is set to go down on May 28th at the Ericsson GLobe in Stockholm, Sweden. The card is scheduled to be headlined by the light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira.