UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson dealt with the bitter disappointment of being forced out of a headlining fight less than week before showtime after a cut cost him a crack at Gegard Mousasi earlier this month. Now healed, the slick Swede is looking to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible. However, with Gustafsson’s status as a plausible contender, “The Mauler” is stuck between scratching his itch to compete and sitting on the sidelines a little while longer in case champion Jon Jones’ broken toe heals fast enough to merit a title-fight in the coming months.
The 26-year old spoke about the subject this week on The MMA Hour where he said he’s only willing to wait so long even if his preference is understandably a date with the divisional king.
“I want to fight Jones. I want to fight for the title, that’s what I want to do. If Jones will be out for a longer time, I’d fight Machida if that’s what the UFC wants. Of course, and if Machida wants it, no problem. I’ll fight him,” explained the 15-1 Gustafsson.
“I’m not going to wait for a long time,” he concluded. “I fought (Mauricio Rua) in December. I want to fight soon. I want to fight in a couple of months at least.”
Like Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida (19-3) is a top contender at 205 pounds and has been promised a title-shot by UFC brass. Machida recently came forward to state he would also be open to action against Gustafsson if Jones can’t compete in the coming months. Jones was asked if he had a preference at the post-event press conference for UFC 159 where “Bones” pointed to Gustafsson based on the challenges he presents in addition to the fact they’ve yet to face off (whereas Jones finished Machida in a 2011 tilt).
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY