Anthony Johnson won't be returning to the Octagon anytime soon following the domestic violence charges against him that forced Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to indefinitely suspend the hard-hitting contender.
Not only does that put a pause on "Rumble's" hot streak, but it also leaves Alexander Gustafsson without a dance partner who, after weeks of back-and-forth with Johnson, finally agreed to the bout.
With no plans of sitting on the sidelines to see how the upcoming light heavyweight title fight between division champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier -- which goes down at UFC 182 on Jan 3, 2014 -- plays out, Alex wants another fight ASAP.
"Well, the [Anthony] Johnson fight didn't go as planned," Gustafsson told MMA Fighting. "I really wanted that fight. Of course, I want that belt, that's my goal, but I won't stay and wait for that. I want to stay active, so I hope to get a fight before this year has ended or early next year."
Enter Rashad Evans, who recently declared that he'd love nothing more than his chance to steal the Swede's thunder by taking him on inside the Octagon. As for big Gus, he's not opposed to the match up.
"Absolutely," said "The Mauler" of a potential showdown against Evans. "I want to fight Rashad, too."
Sometimes, Joe Silva has easy days at work.
Evans has been riding the pine since the beginning of the year after he underwent ACL surgery to repair a bum knee which was a result of an unfortunate mishap during training.
Gus feels your pain, "Suga."
Prior to his layoff, Evans reeled off back-to-back wins over Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson. And now that he's on track to make his long-waited return, he wants to go straight to the top by taking on the best the 205-pound division has to offer.
Both men want it, so what would stop Dana White and Co. from making it happen?