With "DC" disinterested in an overseas fight against Alexander Gustafsson to determine the next Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight contender because of his first-ever 205-pound weight cut, the promotion moved in a Brazilian direction, tapping "Lil Nog" to take on "The Mauler" instead.
The announcement was made during UFC Fight Night 30 press conference (watch it here) this evening in Manchester, England, as well as a Lightweight rematch between between Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson that ended in a "No Contest." It appears that Alexander Gustafsson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will headline the event planned for March 8, 2014, in London, England, while Guillard and Pearson will give the co-main event slot one more shot.
Gustafsson, of course, is coming of the fight of his life at UFC 166, taking division champion Jon Jones to the brink only to drop a very close unanimous decision. An immediate rematch appeared to be all but guaranteed; however, Jones made a "bad ass" decision to fight Glover Teixeira at UFC 170 instead.
Nogueira, meanwhile, is currently riding a two-fight win streak with wins over Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz. "Lil Nog" was supposed to return to action against Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 earlier this year, but an injury in training forced him to withdraw from the bout.
Gustafsson and Nogueira were originally booked to battle at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in April 2012, but a knee injury to the Brazilian derailed that match, too. If Gustafsson defeats Nogueira, UFC President Dana White confirmed that he will next fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixiera.
Cormier will likely have to now fight Phil Davis and/or another contender before being considered for a championship opportunity.