As MMAjunkie first reported, Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has pulled out of UFC 227. Although he lost his original opponent for the Aug. 4 Los Angeles event following the recent withdrawal of Volkan Oezdemir, Gustafsson had been in search of a replacement foe.
Gustafsson seemingly found one Sunday, when Anthony Smith knocked out Mauricio Rua in the UFC Fight Night 134 headliner and volunteered to step in with UFC 227 just 13 days away. It was after the callout that the news surfaced of Gustafsson having a “minor injury” that would force him off the card.
Convenient timing? Dual UFC champion Cormier (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) seems to think so and didn’t hold back in a fiery open letter to the former title challenger (via <a href="
Dear Alex, I don’t know what happened to you going back to the Rockhold situation. You have always been a stand up guy but your behavior changed. From calling a guy out the day after he got knocked out, to now offering to fight me knowing I have a broken hand, after Volkan couldn’t go. Now you’ve turned down Jan, turned down Khalil all while calling for a heavyweight title fight. Now, moments after Anthony Smith does his work like an animal you decide you’re hurt. Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015, but you and I won’t share the octagon again. I am disappointed in who you’ve become. You are so entitled, man, I can’t deal with delusional people. Good luck recovering. Our time has passed. See you from the commentary table. DC @alexthemauler#wegoourseparateways
Gustafsson, 31, is No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings. However, he hasn’t fought since a May 2017 win over Glover Teixeira and has just two fights since his split-decision loss to Cormier in October 2015 at UFC 192.
The inactivity hasn’t stopped Gustafsson from being vocal about his demand for another shot at Cormier’s 205-pound belt. The two even got into an uncomfortable back-and-forth on the subject during a “UFC Tonight” segment in April.
According to his manager, Nima Safapour, Gustafsson even asked the UFC for a shot at Cormier’s heavyweight title prior to withdrawing from UFC 227.
And now, it appears both that and light heavyweight title rematch are off the table for good.
- Anthony Smith calls Alexander Gustafsson injury 'mighty ironic,' weighs options after UFC Hamburg
- UFC Fight Night 134 bonuses: Anthony Smith messes up 'Shogun' for $50,000
- Glover Teixeira after UFC Hamburg loss to Corey Anderson: 'I can't be fighting like this'
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Daniel Cormier posts fiery open letter to Alexander Gustafsson after UFC 227 withdrawal