The last time Alexander Gustafsson stepped into the Octagon, he faced UFC light heavyweight champion in the main event of UFC 165. That fight, winner of Fight of the Night and Fight of the Year, was a closely contested battle, and many would not have been surprised had Gustafsson's hand been raised in victory at the conclusion of the five round contest. That was not to be; instead Jones was declared the unanimous decision victor.
The meeting between Jones and Gustafsson was close enough that an immediate rematch would not have come as a surprise, but that was not something Jones was interested in pursuing. Instead, Jones opted to face No. 2 ranked Glover Teixeira in his next title defense. That fight will headline UFC 172 in April. With no rematch in the cards, Gustafsson (15-2) was lined up to face No. 11 ranked Jimi Manuwa (14-0) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 38 on March 8.
The bout between Gustafsson and Manuwa will be the main event on that card, but unlike Gustafsson's previous fight, this one will not be on pay-per-view. In fact, the fight won't be on broadcast television at all (at least not in America). Instead, the Gustafsson versus Manuwa fight and nine others will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Gustafsson, appearing on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour was asked how it felt going from a pay-per-view main event to an online streaming fight card headline bout. His honest reply, "Well, that sucks a little bit."
The news that the fight would be on Fight Pass actually came as a surprise to Gustafsson, "I didn't know about that until just a few weeks ago, but a fight is a fight." Gustafsson went on to say that he was a "little bit shocked" to learn that he was going from a pay-per-view main event to a fight that will stream on the Internet.
As for his opponent, Gustafsson is not overlooking Manuwa, who has never faced top ten competition in the UFC, "I think Jimi Manuwa is a very dangerous fighter," Gustafsson said. "I think with this ranking system he's a lot better than the guys that are higher ranked. He's a very dangerous fighter that has been sneaking around the shadows. Nobody knows about him, but he's very dangerous. So, I'm really looking forward to the fight on Saturday."
Gustafsson's goal in taking the Manuwa fight is simple, get the win and line up another shot at Jones and the UFC light heavyweight title. If that matchup does come to pass, Gustafsson said of Jones, "I'm going to take his belt."