At a presser on Wednesday afternoon, White told reporters that European sensation Alexander Gustafsson will receive a title shot if he is able to defeat former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi at UFC on FUEL 9 (mmajunkie.com).
Some fans prematurely called for Gustafsson to receive his golden opportunity after defeating Thiago Silva in the spring of 2012. Those talks got louder in December once Gustafsson outstruck former UFC champion Shogun Rua.
The UFC has officially made a mockery of their own rankings system by promising a title shot to the current No. 3 contender. After all, a UFC 157 battle between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida sees the division's top two going toe-to-toe, but only Hendo has been promised a title fight if he is successful.
In the hypothetical world where Machida and Gustafsson are both successful, the UFC will have witnessed the No. 2 contender defeat the man above him on the divisional ladder and the No. 3 contender defeat a guy who sits at No. 10. Under those circumstances, there is no rational logic based on rankings that would put "The Mauler" above "The Dragon" in terms of a title shot.
Does the fact that Machida has already lost to Jon Jones have an impact in this decision? Maybe. But let's not forget that the Brazilian karate master was promised a title shot last August for his epic knockout win at UFC on Fox 4. Clearly the first title fight wasn't too much of a hindrance back then.
How do you feel about this announcement? Is Gustafsson ready for Jon Jones? Is he the most worthy title contender regardless of the outcome of UFC 157?