Corey Anderson has to get past Mauricio “Shogun” Rua tomorrow night at UFC 198, but if he does, the light-heavyweight says he’d like to throw down with Alexander Gustafsson.
“Beastin 25/8” (which is easily one of the best nicknames in all of MMA–top three?) has been booked to face the legendary Rua, after having won three straight fights. Since the TUF 19 winner was stopped by Gian Villante last April, Anderson has defeated Jan Blachowicz, Fabio Maldonado and most recently Tom Lawlor. Anderson currently sits in the #12 spot at 205.
So, if Anderson can defeat the #8 positioned Rua on Saturday, a fight with another top ranked contender could be next. While discussing who he’d like to face in the short term future, Anderson recently told MMA Junkie.com the following:
“At first, I was saying Ryan Bader,” Anderson said. “But then, somebody said something to me yesterday. Alex Gustafsson would be a good fight, I think. He hasn’t fought in a little bit, and I hadn’t heard his name, so he kind of slipped my mind. But, that would be somebody I wouldn’t mind fighting and testing the waters against. You saw the fight he had with Jon Jones. In my mind, that puts him up there to be one of the best because I thought he beat Jon Jones in that fight. I would like to test myself against that.”
If you want a stiff test, then there aren’t many better ones than fighting “The Mauler”. No question. Gustafsson is currently ranked #4 at 205, and is coming off a split decision loss to the champ Daniel Cormier.
First things first, however, and that’s getting past Rua. It’s interesting to note that although Rua is the higher ranked fighter, Anderson is a favorite in the -225 to -260 range. Rua is 2-3 in his last 5 bouts.
UFC 198 will take place in Curitiba, Brazil, at the massive Arena de Baixada.