Less than a week ago, UFC president Dana White announced at the UFC Fight Night 30 post-fight press conference that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would meet Alexander Gustafsson on March 8 for another fight card in London.
White also confirmed that if Gustafsson defeated Nogueira, he would earn another shot at fighting for the Light Heavyweight title.
Thursday Ariel Helwani confirmed with the UFC that “Little Nog” has indeed pulled out of the fight due to a lingering back injury.
With the planned fight card still five months away, expect Gustafsson to receive a new opponent. No immediate announcement was made for a replacement. Gustafsson vs. Nogueira was planned to headline the card.
Nogueira last fought back at UFC 156 in February where he earned a unanimous decision over Rashad Evans. According to Helwani’s report, Nogueira is planning to return to active competition in May 2014.
Gustafsson last battled Jon Jones at UFC 165 for the Light Heavyweight title. Though he came up short on the scorecards, he and Jones received Fight of the Night for their all out war.
The 02 Arena in London will play host to the fight card which is expected to be the first of six to take place in Europe next year.