Rising light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson will headline a UFC card for the first time in his career with the added bonus of doing so in front of his fellow Swedes when the organization travels to Stockholm on April 14 for UFC on Fuel 2. However, as glorious as the scenario may sound, Gustafsson’s main event debut comes with a heavy price tag in the form of having to face seasoned veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
News of the match-up was confirmed earlier today by UFC officials.
Nogueira will be the stiffest test of the 24-year old’s career, holding an overall mark of 20-5 including past wins over Alistair Overeem (X2) and Dan Henderson. The well-rounded Brazilian is coming off an opening round stoppage of Tito Ortiz, a finish making him the first person to take out Ortiz in the first frame since Guy Mezger in 1997, and is comfortable both standing and on the ground as evident by the even split between submissions/TKOs on his record.
While Nogueira poses a major challenge for the 13-1 Gustafsson he certainly won’t be the first significant threat “The Mauler” has faced and felled, having picked up back-to-back strike-based victories over respected competitors Matt Hamill and most recently Vladimir Matyushenko.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC