It’s been less than a week since we reported that light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson would be facing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 36 (March 8th, London), but that matchup has already been scratched. MMAFighting confirmed yesterday that Nogueira has been forced to withdraw due to a lingering back injury. A replacement opponent hasn’t yet been announced for Gustafsson. For the record, Daniel Cormier has already stated that he wouldn’t want to make his light-heavyweight debut overseas, so he may not be an option.
During his time in the UFC, Lil’ Nog has been plagued by injuries to an almost James Irvin-esque degree. Since his UFC debut in 2009, Nogueira has withdrawn from a fight against Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (ankle injury), a fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 133 (shoulder injury), a previously-scheduled match against Gustafsson at UFC on FUEL 2 (knee injury), and a “PRIDE Neva Die!” rematch against Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 (back injury).
Reportedly, Nogueira will be ready to fight again in May 2014, but honestly, who knows. We’ll update you when Gustafsson gets his next opponent booked.