Dana White has announced that a fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been scheduled for the UFC’s next trip to London, England on March 8th of next year.
The fight will establish the division’s next No.1 contender who will then go on to face the winner of the upcoming 205lb title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.
It was already well established that Gustafsson would get another title shot if he won his next fight due to his hugely impressive performance against the current champion last month, but ‘Lil Nog’ is a less obvious choice to be battling it out for a potential shot at the belt.
Nogueira does have a couple of wins under his belt recently against Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, but that still leaves him as just the fifth ranked contender at light-heavyweight.
Fighters above him such as Daniel Cormier and Phil Davis would have made more sense to be matched up with Gustafsson to establish a true No.1 contender, but there’s a certain amount of gamesmanship here as the UFC appears to be lining up the Swede with a potentially easier match-up in the hopes of making that huge rematch with Jones later in 2014.
As a result of this, there’s probably now a good chance we’ll also be seeing Cormier taking on Davis at some stage in the first half of 2014, and that’s certainly got the makings of an interesting encounter between two high-caliber wrestlers.
The event in London is expected to be the first in a European series of ‘Fight Night’ cards, with six reported to be getting scheduled for 2014.
Also announced for the show is an immediate rematch between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard after their co-main event bout at ‘UFC Fight Night 30’ last night ended early in the first round with a controversial no-contest ruling resulting from what appeared to be an illegal knee strike to the head from ‘The Young Assassin’ while Pearson’s hand was on the mat.