Alexander Gustafsson has been piling up wins since a submission loss to Phil Davis in 2010. All total, “The Mauler” has gone 5-0 since the defeat, and will look to add a former UFC light heavyweight champion to his resume this Saturday night.
In the co-main event of UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz, Gustafsson will face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thursday that the winner would be the No. 1 contender to the 205-pound title.
“This is the most important fight of my career,” Gustafsson said Thursday during a pre-fight press conference. “By far, this is the toughest guy. (But) when I win, I will be ready for the champion.”
Current UFC champ Jon Jones is slated to meet Chael Sonnen in April. The two are filming The Ultimate Fighter right now.
Gustafsson (14-1) has finished Cyrille Diabate, James Te Huna, Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, while scoring a decision victory over Thiago Silva, since his first pro defeat. The loss, which came when Davis locked in an anaconda choke, seemed to have given Rua reason to believe he could submit the Swede.
“‘Shogun’s’ been in this sport a long time and he has his tricks,” Gustafsson said. “I’ll be ready for anything on Saturday.”