The hits won’t stop coming during a horrific week for the UFC, as the promotion just announced that No. 2-ranked light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson has withdrawn from his scheduled UFC Fight Night 69 main event against Glover Teixeira on June 20 from Berlin, Germany.
The details of his injury are unknown.
In the bout’s place steps a women’s strawweight title affair between newly crowned champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and No. 3-ranked Jessica Penne, a former Invicta atomweight champion who made it all the way to the semifinals of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 before losing to Carla Esparza.
Esparza went on to win the title at the show’s conclusion, but was then wholly dominated by Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event of March’s UFC 185. Penne was originally set to take on Juliana Lima at May 30’s UFC Fight Night 67 from Brazil, but now Lima is left without an opponent for the time being.
The booking is historical in that it will mark the inaugural time that a UFC belt will be defended on a Fight Pass-aired card.
This is hardly the first time we’ve seen Gustafsson withdraw from a fight due to injury, as his UFC on Fuel TV 9 main event against Gegard Mousasi was scrapped when he suffered a cut in wrestling training, and his scheduled “UFC 178 rematch with former champion Jon Jones never took place when ‘Gus’ tore his meniscus.
Now he’s hurt again, resulting in his third high-profile fight withdrawal in just over three years. Couple that with his devastating loss to current title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, and ‘The Mauler’ hasn’t exactly been doing much of what his namesake would suggest recently.
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