After losing opponent Volkan Oezdemir this week to injury, Gustafsson has officially withdrawn from his August 4 date at UFC 227 as a result of a “minor injury.” Gustafsson’s manager Nima Safapour confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Sunday following an initial report by MMA Junkie.
Safapour issued the following statement to MMA Fighting regarding Gustafsson’s status:
“Alex Gustafsson is out of UFC 227 with a minor injury. The injury occurred last week. Since that time, we have been working closely with the UFC doctors, our doctors in Sweden, and the experts at the UFC Performance Institute. We have been advised that Alex has a minor injury and he will not be permitted to compete at UFC 227. Had Alex been fit to fight, we were prepared to face Roundtree or anyone else the UFC had asked us; including DC Cormier at heavyweight.
Alex will be fighting again very soon. He will give his side of the story shortly. We don’t care who the opponent is. But whomever we face it should be for the meaningful result of the LHW UFC Title.”
Gustafsson (18-4) is one the top-ranked contenders in the light heavyweight division. The lanky Swede was the subject of a post-fight callout by Anthony Smith following Smith’s 96-second knockout of Mauricio Rua in UFC Hamburg’s main event, however it appears any discussion regarding that fight will have to wait.
UPDATE: Gustafsson’s management released a follow-up statement late Sunday. That statement can be read below.
Doctors pulled Alex from the card last Friday. Days before Anthony was to compete. Before that we were trying to stay on the card. Assuming we could get cleared, we were prepared to face anyone. We assumed it would be Rountree as he was ready fight, and we were told Jan would fight at another time. We also offered to fight DC at heavyweight if he was healthy. So Alex was prepared to face anyone, ranked or unranked. But the doctor’s said he was unfit to compete.
It was determined last Friday he would not be on the card. Days before the Smith contest.