Fresh off a unanimous decision win over Thiago Silva at UFC on FUEL 2 in Sweden, rumor has it that Alexander Gustafsson is being looked at as a potential opponent for Quinton Jackson’s much desired swan song with the UFC. No potential date or venue has been mentioned.
Although it was previously reported that Jackson would duke it out with Mauricio Rua in a rematch of their PRIDE Total Elimination 2005 fight, our fanboyish dreams were almost immediately squashed when Page was forced to undergo double knee surgery in the fallout of his UFC 144 decision loss to Ryan Bader. Not wanting to sit on the shelf for too long, Rua has opted to take another fight, possibly at UFC 147, to stay active.
Sources within FightersOnly have stated that the Zuffa brass were eyeing the winner of the Silva/Gustafsson bout before they even threw down at last weekend’s event. Silva and Rampage were originally supposed to square off at UFC 130, until Silva pissed hot following his UFC 125 scrap with Brandon Vera and was replaced by Matt Hamill. The fight that resulted was disappointing to say the least.
Jon Jones comparisons aside, Gustafsson has been on an absolute tear as of late, and a win over Rampage would do a lot for him in terms of drawing power and marketability. Granted Jackson is nowhere near the fighter he once was, at least not in his last performance, but a win over a former UFC champ would be a huge accomplishment for “The Mauler,” and could put him in line for a title shot in the very near future.
It has also been rumored that Jackson was offered a fight with Phil Davis previously, but turned it down due to his well known hatred of fighting anyone with a ground game whatsoever. This is a former MMA champion, ladies and gentlemen. Though Gustafsson possesses strong enough grappling abilities to give Rampage trouble, he is primarily a striker and could make for one hell of a fight for Jackson to go out on. Not as great as his fight with Shogun would likely have been, but satisfying to some degree.