USA TODAY Sports
UFC president Dana White addressed the media today before Saturday's UFC on Fuel TV 7 card in London, and discussed what was at stake for the winner of the April 6th fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Gegard Mousasi.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is fully expected to defeat Chael Sonnen at UFC 157, and at this current rate of dominance fans are asking "who can challenge him at 205?". The 26-year-old Swede Alexander Gustafsson could very well be that guy, and he's fighting Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel 9 in Stockholm. Will he earn a title shot with a win over Gegard? What about Gegard's status at the top of the LHW division? Dana White had this to say at the UFC on Fuel 7 media scrum: (Quotes transcribed by MMA Mania)
"If he beats Mousasi, this is a big fight for both of those guys, obviously. If [Gegard] Mousasi beats Gustafsson, he skyrockets right to the top of that division. As far as Gustafsson goes, if he beats Mousasi in that fight, he's in line for a title shot."
Granted, we have heard Dana roll out the "if [Fighter X] wins, he gets a title shot" when we've seen evidence of the contrary over the past few months. There's almost no reason to believe that if Gustafsson wins he's 100% assured a title shot, but let's see how this plays out, particularly as this fight is only 3 weeks before Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen. There is also the issue of Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida next week, another fight likely in the "#1 contender" category, so this isn't the prettiest and clearest of title pictures.