Replaced by Daniel Cormier in his title challenge to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson explains the injury that took him out of the biggest fight of his career.
"I was sparring and I felt my knee pop twice, but it didn't hurt, it just felt strange," Gustafsson told UFC.com. "I finished training and came home and then I woke up the next morning and I could barely walk on my right leg. Then I felt the knee right away."
Gustafsson will undergo surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee, followed by a rehabilitation stint that could last between five to six weeks, according to his doctor.
"I'm disappointed I can't fight, but this is not the end, it's just the beginning," said Gustafsson. "I'm going to come back much stronger."
Making it his dream to take the strap off Jones himself, Gustafsson isn't shy about hoping Jones survives another title challenger.
"It's an interesting matchup," Gustafsson said. "Both are great athletes and it's going to be a tough fight for sure. But Jones has his height and reach advantage over DC, so I think that will be the key thing in this fight. I think Jones by decision.
"I really want to fight him."
Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 178 Sept. 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
He's back. Nick Diaz has signed a three-fight extension and could be set to face Anderson Silva on Super Bowl weekend in 2015.
One punch. Renan Barao says he went on autopilot against T.J. Dillashaw after being rocked early in their title bout at UFC 173. 'After (that punch), I only woke up in the locker room. The fight was really close in the beginning, but everything changed after that punch.'
Chat Wrap. Luke Thomas recaps Wednesday's NSAC hearing, talks UFC's big weekend in Ireland and previews UFC on FOX 12 in this week's live chat.
The Immortal. UFC welterweight Matt Brown discusses his quest to become 'more enlightened.'
Rematch. Assuming he beats Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 12, Robbie Lawler would be interested in a rematch with Johny Hendricks by the end of the year.
Daniel Cormier already has Cain Velasquez impersonating Jon Jones in sparring.
Quick hitter of Diaz on returning to fighting. Watch here. Refuse to post autoplay.
Highlights from Wednesday's NSAC hearings with Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen.
Dustin Poirier talks matchup with Conor McGregor: "His fans can't come with him."
Robbie Lawler's top KO's.
Nice 'Sparta' kick on Inside MMA's viewer submissions.
The MMA Report - Sean Wheelock, Jeremy Botter
He's back @nickdiaz209 just signed a new bout agreement 2 fight! Details coming soon http://t.co/coguxLGhUI pic.twitter.com/BGlZriJjMW— Dana White (@danawhite) July 24, 2014
There is no update on Anderson vs Diaz. Anderson can't fight till Feb. Lorenzo and I have not even talked to Anderson.— Dana White (@danawhite) July 24, 2014
You slick son of a gun @JonnyBones I must have followed you when I 1st started fighting. Hats off to you. I'm gonna beat that ass Sept 27th— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 25, 2014
@Bisping wake up and get to work. You need to win a fight so the @ufc will let me beat your ass.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) July 24, 2014
@bisping @ufc the problem is your time is up.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) July 24, 2014
@LukeRockhold @ufc 3hrs and that's the best comeback you got? And don't you have a pool party attend?— michael (@bisping) July 24, 2014
Thanks you @adidas @AdidasCombatUSA for all the new gear! Check out the new site http://t.co/Zxiv5rzj8k #adidasmma pic.twitter.com/s6I3BTswcY— robbie lawler (@Ruthless_RL) July 21, 2014
"@RabbitHolePromo: Street Advertising in honour of @TheNotoriousMMA. #TakeOver #ConorMcGregor #UFC178 pic.twitter.com/99TduA0W2p" WOW!!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 24, 2014
Thanks @danawhite for the increase in horse power!!! Haha #UFCDublin #downtime #mylovelyhorse pic.twitter.com/0aqD9JVJif— Patrick Holohan (@PaddyHolohanMMA) July 24, 2014
Get well soon.
#tbt workin hard to get out there again... #rowdyrehab http://t.co/rQOnQVNozB— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) July 25, 2014
For those of you looking for a pregnancy workout.
Besides my work for UFC I'm launching a lifestyle channel! In the 1st vid: @kyragracie! :) -> http://t.co/WzZDq4SNjx pic.twitter.com/uXE6U4UAQe— Paula Sack (@PaulaSack) July 24, 2014
Guess Cowboys needle got stuck at 640k http://t.co/71h2NRpnOO— Mike Kogan (@MikeKogan) July 25, 2014
Officially 170 @ Pechenga http://t.co/xi2JPKTIFj— phil baroni (@philbaroni) July 25, 2014
What happens in Vegas.
Sobre aquela noite. Vou contar o que aconteceu entre eu e @pedrorocha93 em vegas Ops o que acontece em vegas fica em. pic.twitter.com/vgf9rZ63NK— william patolino (@williampatolino) July 25, 2014
I wanna be sharp, I wanna be at my best!! Im ready, @ufc give me the winner of Juliana Lima vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk. pic.twitter.com/h4GLLJEsUP— Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) July 24, 2014
I can't believe someone would do this to my Range Rover!! In my home city of Seattle too! Really... http://t.co/fPSCiVQmPr— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) July 25, 2014
Just found out the guy in highschool that said weed isn't a gateway drug in his report on why weed should be legal is a meth head— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) July 25, 2014
So grateful I didn't poop during those sprints --- it's the little things— Michelle Ould (@MichelleOuldMMA) July 25, 2014
"@982845Shady: @WarMachine170 Bro you gonna Fuck @ChristyMack Tonight? " Lmao! Nah, she outta town, might bang her @Fleshlight doe.— War Machine (@WarMachine170) July 25, 2014
Announced yesterday (Jul. 24 2014)
Mike Rhodes out, Joe Riggs vs. Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2
Nicholas Musoke vs. Amir Sadollah at UFC Fight Night: Stockholm
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via HerrDannyboy.
Why 2013 Kicked this MMA Fan's @ss Part 7B: July: He took it for granted... Act II - The Buildup
We start off the festivities with a massive UFC 162 media tour.
This event is clearly one of the most hyped in recent history - And I can't wait for it!
After being fined $50,000 for skipping out on media obligations in June, Anderson decides that from now on, he'll be candid and cheeky with the media.
The champ also went on UFC tonight and was interviewed by his former Tennille to his Captain, the self-proclaimed, unparalleled, unsurpassed, original Gangster from West Lin, Chael P. Sonnen.
What could have turned out to be one of the most awkward interviews in the history of the world turned out amazing as Sonnen and Silva played well off each other (Like a good old PBnJ, Andy and Chael just fit together).
Some gems include Anderson feigning not knowing who GSP is and Sonnen asking Silva the following questions:
"Anderson, if I promise not to cheat and not to quit when I am hurt... will you give me a rematch?"
"Anderson, based upon your firsthand knowledge of both: Am I a worse fighter... than Steve Seagal is an actor?"
Likewise, the production value and story behind this event's UFC Countdown show were simply amazing.
Check out the rest of the post here.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.