Teixeira is currently the division’s top contender. However, with the champion potentially sidelined for a few months while healing up from an injured foot sustained in his scrap with Gustafsson it is possible Teixeira will need an opponent to hold him over until Jones is ready to return. Gustafsson would make for an excellent option in that he’s clearly the next biggest test at 205 pounds and it would also give “The Mauler” a chance to earn a rematch with Jones if able to get by the talented Brazilian.
While Mousasi’s recent interest has been in middleweight, “The Dreamcatcher” isn’t one to back down from a bout and he’s been fighting at 205 pounds for the last few years. Additionally, he and Gustafsson were scheduled to meet last April before a cut caused the latter to withdrawal at the last minute, so Mousasi may even be more comfortable with the clash than he would have if it involved an opponent he hadn’t scouted yet. Furthermore, Mousasi is also slated for a return in late 2013 from a knee injury, so Gustafsson would have plenty of time to lick his wounds from UFC 165. With so many positives in place, pitting the two well-rounded competitors against each other is logical and has potential to produce a entertaining effort to boot.
Davis needs an opponent but there aren’t a lot of top 205ers available at the moment. Though the two currently train together at Alliance MMA, Davis and Gustafsson have both said in the past they were willing to fight one another based on it being business rather than personal. In addition to “Mr. Wonderful” being a game adversary, the match-up would also make sense in that it would give Gustafsson an opportunity to avenge what was his only career loss prior to facing Jones.
Facing Evans or Sonnen is a stretch since they’re not only booked to battle each other but the match-up is less than two months away. However, if one of the two goes down in the next few weeks, Gustafsson could come in and serve as a replacement assuming the damage he suffered at UFC 165 was superficial rather than structural. On top of both being apt adversaries, it would be interesting to see if Evans or Sonnen would fare better with takedowns than Jones did. If so, an upset might be in the making. If not, Gustafsson would step in on short notice and exit with a victory over a well-known, divisionally relevant opponent.
If the stars align properly Gustafsson could find himself in an immediate rematch with Jones. Their fight was obviously competitive and more than a few people scored things in favor of Gustafsson, believing he’d done enough to pull off an upset and snap Jones’ winning streak. With the knowledge he gained from their first fight, as well as the experience of going to war with an elite adversary for 25 minutes, Gustafsson will undoubtedly serve as an even stiffer test in the second go-round whether it comes in twelve months or twelve weeks.
UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson accomplished a rare feat on Saturday night by boosting his stock despite suffering a loss. As is still etched in the minds of many, Gustafsson went toe-to-toe with champion Jon Jones at and nearly pulled off the upset before ultimately falling by way of decision. The closely-contested clash opened the eyes of a lot of fans regarding Gustafsson’s ability and made it clear he has the potential to be a force at 205 pounds for the next decade. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 165