A light heavyweight fight between European veterans Alexander Gustafsson and Nikita Krylov is reportedly in the works for this summer.
The bout, which was first reported by Swedish MMA outlet Frontkick.online, is being targeted for the UFC‘s July 23 event, which is expected to be a Fight Night card. When they collide, Sweden’s Gustafsson will be looking to take the #11 ranking of Ukraine’s Krylov.
The event is expected to mark the promotion’s second visit to the UK this year. After the success of UFC London last month, the MMA leader is targeting another trip to England’s capital on July 23.
Gustafsson (18-7), a former three-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, is widely considered a pioneer of European MMA. However, “The Mauler,” who boasts a place in the UFC Hall of Fame Fight Wing, has struggled for form as of late.
The Swede hasn’t been in action since a failed venture to heavyweight saw Fabrício Werdum add a third straight defeat to Gustafsson’s losing skid. The setback followed back-to-back losses to Jon Jones and Anthony Smith at 205 pounds.
The 35-year-old was initially scheduled to test the waters at heavyweight once more against Ben Rothwell next month. However, “Big Ben” recently exited the promotion and signed a deal with BKFC, leaving Gustafsson in need of a new opponent. As it turns out, his next rival will be a 205lber.
Like Gustafsson, Krylov (27-9) will be looking to rebound from a losing run. And should the event be confirmed for London, the Ukrainian will have redemption on his mind following his defeat to Paul Craig in the city last month. Despite appearing close to a finish with some brutal ground-and-pound, “The Minor” became the latest victim of the Scot’s lethal submission game.
Having lost consecutive outings against Craig and Magomed Ankalaev, and slipped outside the divisional top 10, Krylov will hope to use the established name of Gustafasson to thrust himself back into contention on July 23.
The current fights expected to take place on this card are as follows:
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Nikita Krylov (light heavyweight)
Muhammad Mokaev vs. Charles Johnson (flyweight)
According to reports, Tom Aspinall is being targeted as the event’s headliner, while UK names like Molly McCann and Nathaniel Wood have also teased returns to to the Octagon in July.
Who do you think will have their hand raised in this one, Alexander Gustafsson or Nikita Krylov?