Following Anthony Smith’s devastating knockout of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua inside 90 seconds at UFC Hamburg on Sunday night, Smith swiftly called out Sweden’s Alexander Gustafsson who, at the time, was without a dance partner for UFC 227 on August 4th.
After losing original opponent Volkan Oezdemir to injury earlier in the week, it turns out Gustafsson will not be featuring on the UFC 227 card altogether, citing injury himself.
Gustafsson’s manager, Nima Safapour, released the following statement: [via MMA Fighting]
“Alex Gustafsson is out of UFC 227 with a minor injury. The injury occurred last week. Since that time, we have been working closely with the UFC doctors, our doctors in Sweden, and the experts at the UFC Performance Institute. We have been advised that Alex has a minor injury and he will not be permitted to compete at UFC 227. Had Alex been fit to fight, we were prepared to face Roundtree or anyone else the UFC had asked us; including DC Cormier at heavyweight.
“Alex will be fighting again very soon. He will give his side of the story shortly. We don’t care who the opponent is. But whomever we face it should be for the meaningful result of the LHW UFC Title.”
Upon hearing the news, Daniel Cormier – now a two-weight UFC champion at both light heavyweight and heavyweight – took to social media to blast Gustafsson.
The pair fought to a tightly-contested split decision back at UFC 192, with Cormier emerging the victor. While both “DC” and Gustafsson were respectful inside the Octagon following their five-round war, the duo has exchanged insults since as the towering Swede diligently campaigned for another title shot.
Gustafsson’s said campaigning will come to nothing, so says Cormier, who also claimed the former was avoiding a series of opponents.
Before branding Gustafsson as “entitled and “delusional,” Cormier said: “Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015 [their UFC 192 fight], but you and I won’t share the octagon again.”
Read Cormier’s full post below:
Gustafsson’s management team has since released another statement in light of Cormier’s comments. This reads:
“Doctors pulled Alex from the card last Friday. Days before Anthony [Smith] was to compete. Before that we were trying to stay on the card. Assuming we could get cleared, we were prepared to face anyone.
“We assumed it would be [Khalil] Rountree as he was ready fight, and we were told Jan [Blachowicz] would fight at another time. We also offered to fight DC at heavyweight if he was healthy. So Alex was prepared to face anyone, ranked or unranked. But the doctor’s said he was unfit to compete.
“It was determined last Friday he would not be on the card. Days before the Smith contest.”
Who says the light heavyweight division is stale?