According to a March 7 post from Bleacher Report, Alexander Gustafsson attempts to inch closer to a rematch with Jon "Bones" Jones by challenging Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight fight at the O2 Arena in London, England.
A victory by Gustafsson will likely earn him the opportunity to fight the winner of the UFC 172 tilt between Jones and Glover Teixeira.
Gustafsson vs Manuwa
Gustafsson admits it's a bit of a letdown to be fighting on an Internet-only card just one fight after his original title fight against Jones, but he says he isn't taking Manuwa for granted.
"It doesn't matter whether I'm fighting someone people consider the pound-for-pound best in the world or whether it is a guy no one knows, a fight is a fight and I am motivated whenever I fight," Gustafsson said. "Whoever and whenever I fight, I'm excited and I'll be ready."
Gustafsson says he focus is solely on Manuwa, not Jones.
"I've fought long enough now to understand that there is no such thing as an easy fight," Gustafsson said. "At this level, all of them are hard. The way you get through them is to take each fight as importantly as the previous one. I'm only focused on Manuwa, not Jones and not a title shot or anyone else.
"My goal is to get that belt and to win it, these are the fights I have to win. So I've prepared to go out and do just that."
For Manuwa, he says his kicks could play a key factor in the Gustafsson fight.
“My technique has come along by leaps and bounds,” Manuwa said. “I throw some of the hardest kicks now; those are some of my main weapons. My punches are harder and faster. I’m just a wrecking machine at the moment.”
Guillard vs Johnson
Guillard says he's the better all-around fighter, whether it comes to standup or submissions.
"I got more experience, I’m the better fighter, I'm the stronger fighter, I'm the faster fighter, and I got knockout power," Guillard said. "Mike's been rallying up some wins lately, but I'm any fighter's kryptonite. Nobody wants to fight me. In the back of his mind, he's probably like, 'Damn, I really have to fight Melvin Guillard?' I'm just going to call it like that. I'll say that to any fighter. I'm not an easy fight for anybody."
Here's a look at the full UFC Fight Night London fight card:
- Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa
- Michael Johnson vs. Melvin Guillard
- Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery
- Gunnar Nelson vs. Omari Akhmedov
- Cyrille Diabate vs. Ilir Latifi
- Luke Barnatt vs. Mats Nilsson
- Brad Scott vs. Claudio Henrique
- Igor Araujo vs. Danny Mitchell
- Phil Harris vs. Louis Gaudinot