While Anthony Smith took immediate aim at Alexander Gustafsson following his short-notice victory over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 134 on Sunday, it appears he may have to wait a while for that bout to materialize.
Gustafsson, awaiting a new opponent for UFC 227, is now himself out because of an undisclosed injury according to a report on the UFC Fight Night 134 post-fight show on Sunday.
Smith, coming off of a June 9 victory over Rashad Evans, agreed to be a late-replacement for Volkan Oezdemir against Shogun in the headliner in Hamburg, Germany. It was a golden opportunity for the 29-year-old to take back-to-back victories over former UFC champions, and he took full advantage, knocking out both.
Immediately after defeating Shogun, Smith took aim at Gustafsson, who recently lost the same opponent that Shogun lost. Oezdemir dropped out of the fight with Shogun in order to fight Gustafsson at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles, but had to withdraw from that bout because of an injury.
“I think Alexander Gustafsson needs an opponent. Gustafsson, I’ll see you in L.A.,” Smith said.
Unfortunately, it appears that Gustafsson doesn’t need an opponent, as he is now off of the UFC 227 fight card because of injury.
Though it would have represented three fights in two months for Smith, it only took him 2:21 total cage time to defeat Evans and Shogun, so he would have been a solid choice to face Gustafsson, as long as he didn’t suffer any injuries in Germany.
Now, we’ll have to wait and see how the division takes shape, as it is unclear of UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will defend his belt or simply wait for a blockbuster bout with Brock Lesnar in 2019, now that Cormier also has the heavyweight title within his possession.