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 37-year-old Nogueira (21-5) has been forced to withdraw from
no fewer than five fights during his four-year stint in the
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
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.