This December, rising UFC prospect Alexander Gustafsson will step inside the Octagon against a former UFC light heavyweight champion in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
The bout, which will serve as the co-main event for UFC on Fox 5, could vault Gustafsson right into title contention with a victory.
Since a loss to Phil Davis, Gustafsson (14-1) has been on a roll, winning his last five fights including a victory over Thiago Silva.
“I’m always saying that my current fight is my biggest, but this is truly it,” said Gustafsson, during a recent interview with Studio MMA. “It’s ‘Shogun’ we’re talking about. He’s a legend and a warrior in this sport.”
Rua is coming off a victory over Brandon Vera, but turned down an opportunity to face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones citing not enough time to execute a complete training camp.
“‘Shogun’s’ an opponent and professional athlete. I am hungry, too, and want to be where he is. It’s a fight I’ve been waiting for. He’s a legend, but when we’re in the cage, he’s just an opponent,” Gustafsson said. “He’s been through hell in the cage. It’s a challenge to me, but I’m looking forward to it.”