Gustafsson was immediately replaced by No. 2-ranked Daniel Cormier, an opponent that Jones supposedly wanted to fight more anyway. While a date with “The Mauler” is on hold for the time being, Gustafsson took to Facebook to thank his fans and declare that he would be coming for the gold:
“Thank you all for the support. I will be back stronger than ever and get MY belt. Jones, I see that you are happy, but if you get past DC, your nightmare will be back and more motivated than ever.”
Strong words from “The Mauler,” who many still feel did enough to wrest the belt from Jones in their epic UFC 165 battle last September. Undeterred, Gustafsson detailed his injury, noting that luckily it won’t keep him out of training for too long:
“I got a knee injury. It’s not very serious, but I need to take care of it. It’s a small issue that has been with me. It’s not a long recovery time – just a few weeks. I’m disappointed, I really wanted to fight at 178 but I can’t. I will watch it, for sure. It’s a great card.”
Indeed it is a great card, but the presence of “The Mauler” could have truly pushed it to legendary status. The “Bone” vs. “DC” title fight is no doubt great, but it just doesn’t have the backstory and allure of a heated rematch.
Regardless, Gustafsson will eventually get another shot at the belt when he heals up. Who will it be against?