The next light heavyweight No. 1 contender will be determined a few weeks after champion Jon Jones defends his title against Daniel Cormier, as officials announced Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson for January.
The two will main event the UFC Fight Night event on January 24 from the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. It marks the second major stadium event put on by the UFC.
Gustafsson (16-2) is coming off a victory over Jimi Manuwa that earned him a rematch with Jones. However, a training injury knocked “The Mauler” out of action and gave way for Cormier to step in. Last year, the Swede lost a decision to Jones.
“This is going to be an epic event,” Gustafsson said. “I want more than 30,000 fans to come and witness me win on January 24. Then I’m going to go and get the title! My journey back to the top starts now. ”
Johnson (18-4) has won both of his fights since returning to the UFC. He holds wins over Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but was only recently reinstated following a charge of domestic violence. The claim was dismissed by the courts, paving the way for Johnson to fight again.
Before being cut by the promotion, “Rumble” had gone 7-4. He battled issues making weight, and decided upon light heavyweight after leaving the UFC.
“This fight might be on his home turf, but I’m ready to go over to Sweden and prove that I’m the next in the line for the UFC light heavyweight title,” Johnson said. “I’m not intimidated by fighting in front of Alex’s hometown fans. I’m going to go in there and look for the knockout like I do in all of my fights. I can’t wait for this!”
The card will air in the traditional 8 p.m. ET time slot in the U.S., meaning it will take place in the morning in Sweden.