Our friends at StudioMMA broke the news minutes ago that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira sustained an injury training for his upcoming UFC on Fuel 2 bout with fast-rising light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson and that stepping in for Lil’ Nog will be fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva.
Silva, who is returning from a one-year suspension for submitting artificial urine to the California State Athletic Commission in an attempt to mask steroid use ahead of his UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera, was originally slated to rematch “The Truth” at UFC on Fuel 3 on May 15 before a training injury forced his opponent out of the bout. Igor Pokrajac stepped up to replace Vera, but it looks like the UFC will now have to find a replacement for the Croation.
This bout definitely provides a step up for Silva in competition from his previously slated two opponents, but this isn’t the first time the 29-year-old has faced a highly-touted adversary. A win over a bright prospect like “The Mauler” could propel the American Top Team fighter, who is 1-2 and 1 NC in his past four fights, back into the mix of 205-pound UFC contenders.
Gustafsson (13-1) will have the home crowd in Sweden on his side, as well as the momentum of four-straight wins — three in the past year — inside the Octagon. Silva’s inactivity may be the biggest factor in this fight, but Gustafsson may have a chink in his armor that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt might be able to expose. The sole loss of the 25-year-old’s career came against Phil Davis via first-round anaconda choke, which makes the pairing with Silva — a known knockout artist with unheralded submission skills, very intriguing.
UFC on Fuel 2, AKA UFC Sweden
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Ericsson Globe Arena
Preliminary Card (FX):
Diego Nunes vs. Dennis Siver
Brad Pickett vs. Damacio Page
Papy Abedi vs. James Head
Cyrille Diabate vs. Jörgen Kruth
ason Young vs. Eric Wisely
Reza Madadi vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo
Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef