No. 2 ranked Alexander Gustafsson faces no. 9 ranked Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of FS1’s “UFC Fight Night” on Nov. 19 live from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz announced the match during last night’s Fight Night. This fight was scheduled back in 2012, but Nogueria pulled out due to a knee injury.
Cruz said Noguiera paved the way for fighters like himself. He called Gustaffson “an absolute savage.” He said Nog understands boxing, Gustaffson’s strength, and he will have the advantage if the fights goes to the ground.
Keller’s Analysis: Gustaffson fought earlier this month, defeating Jan Blachowicz via judges’ decision, so this turnaround is fast. As Cruz said, Gustaffson is looking to get back into title contention. In our MMATorch Rankings for September, released Friday, Gustaffson is ranked no. 4 overall, behind Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, and Anthony Johnson. A loss to Nog will be a big setback in his quest for a title shot. An impressive win could solidify one. It’s not a risky fight in that staying active and getting wins might be what it takes to move to the front of the line for a title shot, as long as he’s confident he can decisively beat the beatable Nog. I wasn’t blown away by his performance earlier this month, and having taken losses to Cormier and Johnson since his title shot against Jones, it might take some really impressive outings to show he’s improved and marketable as a challenger.