The injury bug has affected UFC 227 once again.
An injury has officially forced light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir out of his scheduled August 4 bout against Alexander Gustafsson. MMA Fighting confirmed the news Thursday following an initial report by ESPN, which reported that a broken nose is the culprit for Oezdemir’s withdrawal.
The UFC is actively seeking a replacement opponent to keep Gustafsson on the card.
The news continues a rough stretch for Oezdemir (15-2) in 2018. After erupting on the light heavyweight scene in 2017 with a trio of upset wins over Ovince Saint Preux, Misha Cirkunov, and Jimi Manuwa, the 28-year-old Switzerland native lost his title shot to Daniel Cormier via second-round TKO in January, then was twice forced out of scheduled bouts opposite Mauricio Rua as a result of visa issues.
Gustafsson (18-4), meanwhile, was hoping to cement his claim as the No. 1 light heavyweight contender with a positive showing against Oezdemir. The 31-year-old Swede has won back-to-back fights since his title loss to Cormier, first claiming a unanimous decision over Jan Blachowicz in 2016, then notching a fifth-round knockout of Glover Teixeira in 2017.
UFC 227 takes place August 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. A pair of championship rematches, T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt and Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo, headline the pay-per-view event.