UFC president Dana White announced Gustafsson vs. Nogueira for the UFC’s return to London, slated for March 8, 2014, following last Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester, England.
On Thursday night, however, a report from MMAFighting.com surfaced, citing a confirmation from White, that Nogueira is suffering from a lingering back injury that is expected to keep him on the sidelines until May.
This is the second time that Nogueira has had to withdraw from a proposed match-up with Gustafsson. The two were originally supposed to have met in April of 2012.
Had he defeated Nogueira, Gustafsson was guaranteed a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, should Jones also get past Glover Teixeira. The Jones vs. Teixeira fight doesn't yet have a scheduled date, although it is expected to take place sometime around March or April.
“It’s definite. (Gustafsson’s) got the shot,” said White in Manchester. “If he beats Nogueira and Jon Jones wins his fight against Teixeira, that’ll be the next fight. He’ll get his rematch.”
It’s currently unclear whom Gustafsson will fight next, but regardless of who it is, he is still likely to get a shot at Jones if the two of them are victorious in their fights. White has wanted to make the rematch since the night of their Fight of the Year candidate at UFC 165 in September.
The March 8 fight card at the O2 Arena in London is the first of a series of six UFC events to be held in Europe in 2014.