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Alexander Gustafsson first comments following knee injury, expects Jon Jones to defeat Daniel Cormier at UFC 178

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"The Mauler" gives his first comments after a knee injury forced him out of his much-anticipated rematch against Jon Jones.

Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

Alexander Gustafsson's second attempt to dethrone Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was put on hold after a knee injury bounced the Swede from the title fight.

Full details here.

A fight that was signed, sealed, and soon-to-be delivered for UFC 178 on Sept., 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a few days shy of an exact year that the two men put on an instant classic at UFC 165.

In his first public comments since suffering his injury and subsequent withdrawal, Gustafsson spoke to UFC.com and declared he'd be back stronger than ever with the same goal in mind.

"I'm disappointed I can't fight, but this is not the end, it's just the beginning," said Gustafsson "I'm going to come back much stronger."

According to "The Mauler," a torn meniscus in his right knee he suffered in training earlier this week is what will prevent him from taking on "Bones."

"I was sparring and I felt my knee pop twice, but it didn't hurt, it just felt strange," he said. "I finished training and came home and then I woke up the next morning and I could barely walk on my right leg. Then I felt the knee right away."

After confirming with doctors that fighting in September would be out of the question, he was informed that he will have to undergo surgery to correct the issue that will likely need five to six weeks of rehab.  A procedure the towering Swede described as "not a big deal" which could mean a "fast recovery."

As a result of the untimely injury, Daniel Cormier was pegged as Alexander's replacement to challenge Jones for the 205-pound title, an interesting fight that Gus picks "Bones" to win.

"It's an interesting matchbup," said Gustafsson. "Both are great athletes and it's going to be a tough fight for sure. But Jones has his height and reach advantage over 'DC,' so I think that will be the key thing in this fight. I think Jones by decision."

Though that could just be Gustafsson's burning desire to fulfill his destiny by being the one to take out Jones.

"I really want to fight him."