UFC: Alex Gustafsson to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the O2 Arena in March
By James Dielhenn. Last Updated: 28/10/13 11:17pm
Alex Gustafsson: Will fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in London on March 8
Alex Gustafsson, Europe's leading mixed martial artist, has been confirmed as headlining the UFC's next London event at the O2 Arena on March 8, fighting veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
This will kick off the brand's most extensive European tour to date, also taking them to Dublin, Malmo, Berlin, Istanbul and Lodz before the end of 2014.
The ringside presence of Gustafsson at Saturday's Manchester event got tongues wagging and at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White confirmed that he will be the star attraction in London.
The Swede recently lost a classic encounter to Jon Jones for the light-heavyweight championship but will receive a rematch if he is successful upon his return in the capital.
White announced: "He beats 'Little Nog' and Jon Jones beats Glover Teixeira, that's the next match."
No European has won a UFC world championship in the modern era and Gustafsson is arguably the likeliest candidate so his appearance at the next event on English soil is significant.
"I'm super excited to fight in London, I've fought there before and now I've got the chance again," he said at Saturday's press conference.
It was a possibility that Gustafsson would fight in his home country but British fans will be treated to the Swedish star and the Malmo event will go ahead without him.
He was supposed to fight Nogueira in April 2012 in Stockholm but the Brazilian withdrew injured and his replacement, Thiago Silva, was beaten by Gustafsson.
Another confirmed fight for the March event is a rematch between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard after a cut to the former resulted in Saturday's contest ending in a no contest.
Michael Bisping, England's most high-profile UFC fighter, has also expressed an interest in competing in London but an eye injury means that is doubtful.