Alexander Gustafsson could find himself facing Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson later this year.
Prior to UFC on FUEL 2 in Sweden on Saturday night the UFC had determined that the winner would make an attractive opponent for Jackson’s next outing, a source says. Silva had previously been matched with Jackson for UFC 130 but the fight was scrapped when Silva failed a drug test, so Jackson fought Matt Hamill instead.
Jackson has been angling for a rematch with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, who holds a win over him from Pride FC. The UFC was keen on the match but then Jackson recently announced that he needed double knee surgery.
Coupled with the fact that Jackson also wants out of his UFC contract, and has been told that will be granted after one more fight, the UFC is looking to keep Shogun busy. The former champion is notorious for performing badly after long absences and he wants to stay busy, possibly with a fight at UFC 147.
The source also revealed that Jackson has turned down several mooted opponents of late, including Phil Davis. As Davis is coming off a loss to Rashad Evans and Jackson is coming off a loss to Ryan Bader it was thought the match made sense but Jackson does not want to fight any more wrestlers.
Gustafsson fits the bill in that he is a striker and is a young prospect that the UFC would like to build; a win over a big name like Jackson would be very useful in that respect. For Jackson the chance to fight someone who won’t be constantly trying to take him down would be interesting, but Gustafsson’s elusive style might not be.
Jackson’s desire to leave the UFC stems from recent contract talks in which the UFC offered a reduced pay scheme, alleging that Jackson had lost some of his fan appeal and thus was worth less to the promotion. That sparked fury at Jackson’s end and he swore he would be leaving the UFC as soon as possible; that desire does not seem to have abated with time.