Alexander Gustafsson re-established himself as second best in the UFC light heavyweight division Saturday with a second-round TKO of Jimi Manuwa.
The contest headlined UFC Fight Night 37, which went down in London's O2 arena and aired live Saturday afternoon in the United States.
The first round unfolded mainly on the ground, with the Swede taking Manuwa down, hunting for submissions and scoring with strikes.
Then came the second round. Gustafsson landed a vicious knee to Manuwa's head, swarmed with heavy uppercuts and finished off the Brit with a few semi-academic hammerfists, which forced the referee stoppage.
At age 27, Gustafsson is now 16-2 as a pro. His only loss in the past three-plus years came to champion Jon Jones last September at UFC 165. The back-and-forth fight ended in a unanimous decision win for the champ, but the challenger gave Jones the toughest fight of his career.
Many observers called for an immediate rematch. That didn't happen, with the UFC matching up Gustafsson and Manuwa instead and pairing Jones with Glover Teixeira, a fight that will happen in April at UFC 172.
After dispatching Manuwa, Gustafsson took to the mic to make his own case for another title shot.
"Jon Jones, I want my title shot again," Gustafsson said in the cage (h/t Mike Chiappetta of FoxSports.com). "I'm right here. Whenever you want, man. Whenever you want."
Now, it seems the UFC agrees with Gustafsson. After the win, the UFC's official Twitter account confirmed that Gustafsson would face the winner between Jones and Teixeira, thereby teeing up the much-desired rematch:
Dana White: Gustafsson is the No. 1 contender. He gets Jones or Teixeira next.— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) March 8, 2014
Jones is a heavy favorite to beat Teixeira and retain his title. He is also generally regarded as the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter today.
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