Gustafsson picked up the biggest win of his young career, dominating the former Pride Grand Prix and UFC champion, which all but solidified his spot as the top contender at 205lbs.
But unfortunately the timing of the next light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen not happening until late April all but guarantees Gustafsson will fight again before challenging for the belt.
“I want to fight, I want to stay active, I’ll fight whenever. I was away for a long time, last time I fought was in April, that’s too long for me, so to wait till summer again that’s too long, I want to fight earlier than that,” said Gustafsson after his win.
UFC President Dana White tends to agree with the Swedish fighter, and there may even be an opportunity opening up for him as early as UFC 157.
“If I was him, I’d want to get another fight in. He could fight another fight,” White told Fuel TV about Gustafsson’s future.
“I keep hearing (Dan) Henderson’s knee isn’t better right now so, maybe he gets a shot at (Lyoto) Machida. We’ll see what happens.”
Other than a few bumps and bruises, Gustafsson said he was healthy after the 15-minunte fight with Rua, so at that point it all comes down on his willingness to turn around and fight again in about 10 weeks.
Henderson is currently scheduled to face Machida at UFC 157, which takes place on Feb 23 in Anaheim.