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Lil Nog injured, out of Gustafsson bout
It took less than a week for the UFC’s London 2014 headliner to fall apart. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the oft-injured Brazilian light-heavyweight, will not be able to participate on the March 8 show due to a back injury.
The news was first reported by MMAFighting.com.
The 37-year-old Nogueira (21-5) has been forced to withdraw from no fewer than five fights during his four-year stint in the promotion.
This is the second time he has pulled out of a match with Gustafsson. The two were originally scheduled to meet at UFC On FUEL TV 2 in April 2012, but a knee injury scuttled those plans, and Gustafsson went on to defeat Thiago Silva instead.
In addition to those two bouts cancellations, he’s pulled out matches with Brandon Vera at UFC 109 (ankle), Rich Franklin at UFC 133 (shoulder) and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at 161 (back). The injury that pushed him out of the Rua fight appears to be the one that will keep him from the UFC Fight Night event in London.
Nogueira has won two straight bouts, but has only fought a single time since the start of 2012, when he defeated Rashad Evans at UFC 156.
With four months until the London date at the O2 Arena, the UFC has plenty of time to find a replacement for Gustafsson, who has been guaranteed a second chance to fight for the belt with a win at the show. Gustafsson lost a narrow but unanimous decision to Jon Jones at UFC 165 in September.