A knee injury may have forced Alexander Gustafsson out of his planned rematch with light heavyweight Jon Jones at UFC 178, but it hasn’t dashed his hope for the future.
“I’m disappointed I can’t fight, but this is not the end, it’s just the beginning,” Gustafsson told UFC.com on Thursday. “I’m going to come back much stronger.”
The Swede revealed that the injury he suffered while sparring earlier this week was a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“I was sparring and I felt my knee pop twice, but it didn’t hurt, it just felt strange,” he said. “I finished training and came home and then I woke up the next morning and I could barely walk on my right leg. Then I felt the knee right away.”
The doctor told Gustafsson that the tear would require surgery and an approximate rehabilitation time of five to six weeks.
With Gustafsson on the sideline, Daniel Cormier agreed to take his place against Jones. It’s another fight that fans have wanted to see, and one that both Jones and Cormier have been pining for.
Gustafsson has appreciation for the pairing as well, but thinks that, at the end of the day, he’ll still get his rematch with Jones, because he believes Jones will get the better of Cormier on Sept. 27.
“It’s an interesting match-up,” said Gustafsson. “Both are great athletes and it’s going to be a tough fight for sure. But Jones has his height and reach advantage over DC, so I think that will be the key thing in this fight. I think Jones by decision.”