UFC officials announced that former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson will return to action in March against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The announcement was made at the UFC Fight Night 30 post-fight press conference earlier today.
The bout will take place in London on March 8.
Gustaffson is coming off a “Fight of the Year” performance at UFC 165 where he lost to Jon Jones via unanimous decision in his bid to pull off a huge upset. There was talk of an immediate rematch, but those talks have cooled and now Gustafsson will take on Nogueira. If Gustafsson defeats Nogueira and Jon Jones successfully defends his title against Glover Teixeira, Gustafsson will earn the rematch with Jones for a second shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.
Nogueira has been out of action since his UFC 156 upset win over former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. Nogueira was set to rematch former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 161, but had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. He has won back-to-back fights, but has only fought twice since December 2011.
It was also announced that the lightweight bout between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard will take place on this London card as well. The two fought to a “No Contest” at the UFC Fight Night 30 event which took place today in Manchester, England. Guillard landed an unintentional illegal knee to the head of Pearson during a situation that was ‘bang bang’ with Pearson’s hand/knee were not on the mat as Guillard was throwing the knee. However, one of the knees did land while Pearson had a hand on the mat which caused a huge cut on his forehead.