Looks like the biggest rematch of 2014 will have to wait.
On Wednesday night, the UFC announced Alexander Gustafsson would be forced to withdraw from his highly anticipated rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 178 due to a meniscus tear suffered in training.
In his place steps in former U.S. Olympic wrestling captain and undefeated MMA fighter Daniel Cormier.
Jones (20-1), currently the number one ranked light heavyweight and number one pound-for-pound fighter according to the official Power MMA fighter rankings, initially wanted to face Cormier instead of Gustafsson. However the UFC decided to go a different direction and booked the rematch of the 2013 Fight of the Year. ‘Bones’ ended up earning a a unanimous decision victory over Gustafsson, giving him ten straight UFC victories and seven straight title defenses. He followed up this performance with a one-sided beat down of Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 172 in April.
Cormier (15-0), currently the number two light heavyweight, is coming off a third round submission victory over MMA icon Dan Henderson in the co-main event of UFC 173 in May. Prior to this victory, ‘DC’ walked away with first round knockout over Patrick Cummins in the co-main event of UFC 170. This marked Cormier’s first trip to 205-pounds after five years of competing as a heavyweight. Before making the drop in weight, the American Kickboxing Academy was victorious over such fighters as Roy Nelson, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, former UFC heavyweight champions Josh Barnett, and Frank Mir.
Upon learning of the news, Cormier took to Twitter to take a shot at the young champion:
@JonnyBones and the new…….
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 23, 2014
He and Jones have exchanged heated words in the past regarding a potential fight and their feud only intensified once Cormier moved to the light heavyweight.
UFC 178 is currently scheduled to take place September 27 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Here’s how the card stacks up so far:
- #1 Jon Jones vs. #2 Daniel Cormier
- Dominick Cruz vs. #8 Takeya Mizugaki
- Conor McGregor vs. #6 Dustin Poirier
- *#7 Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero
- Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes
- John Howard vs. Brian Ebersole
- Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson
All rankings via official Power MMA fighter rankings.