Serious Injury Benched Alexander Gustafsson Until End Of Year
Light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson was supposed to meet Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 227, but Oezdemir pulled out of their scheduled main card showdown due to a broken nose. ‘The Mauler’ left with no dancing partner and UFC was in fact search for an opponent for him. In the midst of that, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith who immediately called out Gustafsson as a late replacement after a violent knock out of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Hamburg.
Alas, shortly after news emerged that Gustafsson also pulled out off 227 with a ‘minor injury.’ Later ‘The Mauler’s’ management team claims they were in touch with the UFC regarding this injury. Gustafsson appeared on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show to express his frustrations while explaining his injury wasn’t too severe though details keep secret.
UFC president Dana White spoke with UFC Unfiltered podcast recently and refuted those claims said Gustafsson was seriously injured. (Via MMAFighting)
“It wasn’t a minor injury, He had a serious injury to his hamstring. He doesn’t have to do surgery, he’s doing physical therapy, and we’re then hoping he can come back before the end of the year. He was hurt, legitimate injury, and he’s working on it.”
Gustafsson has been campaigning for a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for some time now. Both fighters met back in 2015, where Cormier came out victorious with a razor-thin split decision win. Cormier already cleared his intentions to hang his gloves for good by his 40th birthday next year and expected to defend his heavyweight title against WWE star Brock Lesnar.
Cormier rips Gustafsson on his withdrawal from UFC 227 and said we wouldn’t be fighting again.
‘The Mauler’ has been out of action since picking up fifth round-knockout of Glover Teixeira back in May of 2017 and hasn’t been a consistent fighter.
Oezdemir and Smith are slated to fight at UFC Moncton this October since the light heavyweight title is on hold until 2019 as Cormier to fight Lesnar by early 2019, so the winner of Smith vs. Volkan may end up facing Gustafsson anyway.