Rua vs. Gustafsson winner to get next shot at Jon Jones

Sorry Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson (especially Henderson), it appears that both of you will be passed over for a title shot as Dana White has announced that the winner of Saturday’s showdown between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander Gustafsson will be crowned as the #1 contender and be next in line to face Jon Jones, should he get past Chael Sonnen in April. 

The announcement came during the UFC on Fox 5 press conference and may ruffle the feathers of Henderson, who was forced to pull out of his title fight with Jon Jones due to injury and watch as he’s been passed over not once, but twice. However, as always, things can change. 

“Unless there’s some crazy (expletive) that happens, which always does,” UFC President Dana White said. The way this year has gone, nobody should be surprised with White’s comments. But White is pretty clear that the winner of this fight will be next for Jones as he feels Shogun has done more than enough to warrant a shot should he beat the fast rising Gustafsson. “Look at the fights Shogun has had in his past two or three fights. He is the gatekeeper right now to that title,” White said. This means that a Gustafsson win would be all the more impressive and shoot him right to the top of the 205 division. “If Alexander can beat Shogun, he’d get the shot. Shogun wins, he gets it.”

We wouldn’t hang on to White’s words too much, though. Crazier things have happened.

  • KeithFarrell

    Machida/Hendo winner deserves it much more

    • grapplure

      yes sir!

    • Kris-tyahn

      Henderson YES – Lyoto NO! Lyoto has 2 wins vs. Couture & Bader?!? WOW! Impressive, I know if he beats Henderson, but still that would be 2 guys in their 40's a BADER! I'd rather watch Rua or Gustafsson.

      • Baby Ads

        your so right man….

      • KeithFarrell

        who has Rua beat since then? Griffin yes but the guy was totally not there mentally and he squeezed past Vera? At least Lyoto KO'd and dominated Bader and Randy with ease.
        I want to see Gus the most but want him to have more time

        • Evan Holober

          I agree Keith. Bader is an underrated commodity (compared to Griffing and Vera).

          Henderson got royally screwed.

    • silvaisking2321

      so if chael wins are they still fighting jones??

    • Sisam646

      Does anyone know the status of Hendo's injury? I think this is a big factor here. To my knowledge there is no timeline as to when Henderson is going to be back in the game so they are trying to line something up in the meantime.

    • Jrhill1990

      seeing as one takes trt to stay in the game and the other got choked out, i disagree ill go with the young fast upcomer riding the 4 fight win streak.

  • Bruce Lee

    I'm not so sure Rua wants Jones again.

    • grandslam

      Exactly. especially after what Jon did to him in the previous fight.

    • Kris-tyahn

      And Lyoto does? Rua wasnt 100% when he fought Jones, not saying Rua @ 100% would do win, but I'm sure he'd do better!!! I believe Rua lasted longer than Lyoto!

      • ulikebang

        Rua was beaten to a bloody pulp. Machida was dictating the pace, until he got his head split open. I'd take an elusive fighter, over an aged body bag, to fight Jones anyday.

      • thexperience1

        dude please.. rua got Smashed!!!! while Lyoto clearly won rnd 1 no matter what the bias ass judges said…. Lyoto just got caught in rnd 2, but he was bringing it to Jones!

  • ripstic5021

    This is retarded, they just said that between Machida and Rua that Machida had the more impressive win in his last fight which entitled him to fight the winner of Henderson vs Jones. Now Henderson and Machida are both forgotten while Rua could potentially get another shot? Wow, look im serious when I say UFC has gotten too big too fast and its starting to suffer. Chael Sonnen getting a random title shot? Diaz over Hendricks next for GSP? These seem like awfully selfish fights for UFC share holders and not for fans and credibility, and let's face it, without credibility this sport is just random bar fights.

    • IChokePeople

      Well stated man.

    • codemaster

      I disagree.

      Jones, GSP and Silva have dominated their weight classes, running through all the top contenders. The WW division has managed to spawn some serious contenders, but LHW and MW are still fairly cleaned out of contenders.

      Sure, you can argue that some deserve a title shot–but the number and depth of contenders is pretty weak. THAT is why the UFC searches for the biggest fights they can get for their dominant champions.

      I can't think of any fighter who has proven he deserves a title shot–but won't get it eventually. Diaz may fight GSP first, but Hendricks will get his chance at the champ soon enough.

      Anderson Silva will probably have to fight one or more of Weidman, Belcher, Bisping or retire.

      Jones will fight Gustaffson, Rua, Machida, or Hendo after he fights Sonnen. Texeira and others have to prove their worthiness with more wins.

      The bottom line is that despite the order or sequence of the fights, I don't see any truly worthy contenders being blocked from their eventual shot at a title.

      • Brian Cox

        Agree with the premise, but if we have fights like Henderson / Machida going off, where both fighters were given or told they would get a title shot (without getting into the history of it), we end up with a situation where (by) people who earned a shot are now having to fight one another, thus cancelling one of them out. I think that's a little unfair.
        As much as Machida / Henderson might be a great fight, seeing both of them fight Jones would be preferable. IMO.

  • spiderp4p

    Wow Henderson got screwed hard. He should've been given the title fight right after his fight with Shogun last year. Now he just lost a year in, what some consider, his prime, and is now 42. What a waste.

  • Brian Cox

    I guess Anderson is back to defending his belt.

  • HolyGrimace666

    im pretty stoked Shogun is eligible and quite possibly the next in line for the belt… I KNEW Shogun would do it… i knew it!!

  • nokick

    Dana White is a bitch period. if you criticize or doesn't do what he want he will screw you.

    Hendo make statement about Chael vs Jones fight. Dana never like Hendo in the first place

    Machida refuse to take a fight when hendo was injured screw him.

  • highkick12

    Lets just change it to whoever isnt injured in a few months gets the title shot

  • BillyBamBam

    Order of how much they deserve it:
    1. Henderson (mainly because he hasnt got the time to be put off again and again, plus i think he matches up best against JJ)
    2. Gustaffson (been quietly earning his shot for a while now)
    3. Machida (hasnt fought the best opponents since his first shot but has been the closest to figuring out JJ style
    4. Just can't imagine a) him being competitive after such domination the first time and looking so sluggish recently, and b) him even fancying his chances himself

    I was far more excited about the prospect of DH and JJ than any of his other recent match ups

  • enjoylife321

    I hope to see the swede win…Im not sure i want to see shogun get blasted twice

  • Brasil

    This blows…I would like to see either Hendo or Machida take a crack at Jones….Hendo must be pissed off.


    What a load of bull….


    I thought calling a fighter a gatekeeper was reserved for the boards. First time hearing Dana call one of his own guys that.

  • Shogunboxe

    1 Henderson-Machida winner
    2 Gustafsson- Shogun winner

    Chael Sonnen in april

  • Clinch_z_Demise

    In my mind, as long as Jones is champ Shogun will never earn a shot. What Jones did to Shogun that night could inspire an episode of Criminal Minds.