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With Alexander Gustafsson rumors swirling, Rashad Evans to gauge rehabilitated knee this week

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With 80-percent of the UFC's light heavyweight top-five either reeling from knee injuries or suspended indefinitely, there's been plenty of time lately to throw around conjecture about where the division can go from here.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier already have their date set for New Year's weekend, that at least is a certainty. Anthony Johnson is a new guy in town, but he's more of an idea than a reality at present because of his ongoing domestic abuse case.

So by process of elimination, we're left with Alexander Gustafsson and Rashad Evans, two of Jones' more durable foils who, conveniently, happen to be recovering from comparable knee injuries, and, conveniently, are eyeing the same return timetable of early-2015.

A match-up between the two light heavyweights makes sense for a lot of reasons, and luckily it's one both appear to want. Though before anything can be set in stone, those pesky knees need to return to 100-percent.

In the case of Evans, the-35-year-old told's Ariel Helwani that although his "leg is still weak," he's trying to see if he can "get it together" and plans to train hard for the upcoming week to gauge where he's at, as reported on Wednesday's episode of UFC Tonight.

Evans (19-3-1) sustained a torn ACL in his right knee in late-February, sinking his proposed match-up against Cormier at UFC 170.

Five months later Gustafsson (16-2) sustained a torn meniscus in the same knee, sinking his proposed match-up against Jones, and giving way to, who else, but Cormier entering into the title picture -- a spot Cormier would maintain, even after Jones tore the meniscus in his left knee, delaying the next defense of his 205-pound into Jan. 2015.

Gustafsson was briefly linked to a fight against Johnson in Dec. 2014, but Johnson's indefinite suspension nixed the idea before it could be finalized. Now the Swede most likely waits for Evans, while the rest of the division waits for the new year to arrive and unclog the logjam at the top of the rankings.

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