The injury bug has struck again – Alexander Gustafsson is out of UFC 178, and Daniel Cormier is in!
It has been a busy day in the MMA world, with the announcement of a two-year suspension of Chael Sonnen by the NSAC (though the fighter is retired anyway), and the licensing by the very same athletic commission of Vitor Belfort, followed by a subsequent UFC announcement that the Brazilian would meet Chris Weidman at UFC 181 on December 6.
Now comes breaking news that Alexander Gustafsson is injured, and is out for his rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 178 in Las Vegas this September. The news was confirmed on Twitter by both the UFC and Dana White, who commented on talking to Cormier:
I just talked to @dc_mma on the phone and his little daughter was screaming in the background, “My Daddy is gonna be the CHAMPION.”
Fans were split in reaction to the news, as UFC 178 was highly anticipated, so much so that the UFC moved the event from Canada to Las Vegas, Nevada, believing it worthy only of the fight capital of the world. A large part of that, however, was the rematch between champion Jon Jones and the man who pushed him the hardest in their first meeting at UFC 165, Alexander Gustafsson.
There’s no word as to how long the Swede will be out, though an article covering the switch posted on the UFC’s website was calling the match between Gustafsson and Jones “postponed.” So it does appear that his shot at the belt will be secure upon his return to action.
Meanwhile, Cormier will put previously discussed elective surgery on hold in order to make it to the bout. Cormier is the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, and is undefeated in his career. Unwilling to fight friend and training partner Cain Velasquez at heavyweight, he dropped down to light heavyweight at the start of this year, and immediately defeated the unheralded Patrick Cummins, a former training partner, before dominating Dan Henderson at UFC 173. Following that match, he called out Jon Jones, and it looks as if he’s now getting his wish.
Can the best wrestler at light heavyweight (and perhaps in the UFC) defeat the greatest light heavyweight champion of all time? We’ll find out in September.