Alexander Gustafsson nearly pulled off a stunning upset of Jon Jones at UFC 165, but the three judges at cageside saw the 25 minute classic for the light heavyweight champion. Last week in Manchester, UFC president Dana White announced that Gustafsson would fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in London next March, but it didn't take long for Nogueira to pull out with yet another injury. As revealed by Gareth A. Davies, Gustafsson will now face Jimi Manuwa:
Manuwa (14-0) is known as a fearsome striker who possesses knockout power. His last two fights have ended in unusual circumstances, with Ryan Jimmo and Cyrille Diabate both succumbing to an in-fight injury. Manuwa's debut was a mauling of Kyle Kingsbury that was ultimately stopped by the doctors at the end of round 2. With all due respect to the previous opponents the 33-year-old has faced, this is clearly the biggest leap in competition that Manuwa has ever faced in his career.
Gustafsson (15-2) was promised a rematch with Jones provided he defeat Nogueira and Jones defended his title against Glover Teixeira. While Jones/Teixeira is tentatively set for early 2014, there's no telling whether or not the Swede will get another title shot should he beat Manuwa, who will come into this fight as a fairly sizable underdog.
UFC Fight Night in London is scheduled for March 8th and also features a lightweight rematch between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard, whose first fight ended in a controversial no-contest due to an illegal knee to a downed opponent.