In news that comes as little surprise, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has pulled out of his proposed 2014 UFC bout in Britain against former title challenger Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson due a lingering back injury. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting confirmed the announcement with UFC President Dana White
We’ve seen this song and dance before, when “Lil Nog” pulled out of a fight against Gustafsson at UFC on Fuel TV 6 last April, citing a knee injury that time.
Nogueira put his name on the light heavyweight map with a decision win over former champion Rashad Evans at February’s UFC 156. But with his lengthy history of injuries throughout his UFC career, one has to wonder how much longer Dana White and Joe Silva will continue to book “Lil Nog.”
Nogueira isn’t getting any younger, and he’s become a promotional liability.
The light heavyweight division has plenty of talent; it’s time for Gustafsson to find someone else. White said that no news was available concerning “The Mauler’s” next opponent. Thankfully, there’s enough time to find a good one with four months left until the March 8 event from the O2 Arena.
In an odd twist of fate, Gustafsson may find himself facing off with number three-ranked teammate Phil Davis. “Gus” and “Mr. Wonderful” knew that this day could eventually come, and Gustafsson was rumored to have left their Alliance MMA gym. If not for Davis, Gustafsson will at least get himself an opponent that shows up while Jon Jones settles the title situation against Glover Teixeira.