Sure, the knee injury that bounced Alexander Gustafsson from his much-anticipated title fight rematch against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones wasn't "too serious," but "The Mauler" knew that going into a fight against "Bones" less than 100 percent wasn't the smartest thing to do.
That's why the towering Swede heeded the advice of his doctor and bowed out of the fight to get knee surgery in order to correct the issue with his meniscus.
"It's not serious at all. It's actually one of the easiest knee injuries you could have. It's a very easy operation, it takes maybe 15-20 minutes. The recovery time is just a few weeks, and you can walk home from the surgery. It's not a big deal at all. The thing is, it's one of those things where it's a small problem that can get very big if you don't do anything about it. For me to have a 10-12 week camp against Jones, I need to be 100 percent. I can't go into that cage knowing that something is hurting. I need to be 100 percent. We decided that I needed to have that operation."
As for "DC's" chances against Jones, Gustafsson doesn't think the former Olympian will have enough in his arsenal to dethrone the longtime 205-pound champion, therefore securing his rematch against the man he took into deep waters at UFC 165 one year ago.
"No disrespect to DC, I think he's a very great opponent and a great athlete. I think he's a very tough fighter and a hard-working guy, but I believe Jones will win the fight. I see myself fighting Jones. That's what I want. Nothing else. That's what I want. I'm not saying anything else, and I'm really, really hoping that I get my chance. I will do my operation, and I'll have my few weeks of rehab, and I'm going to come back stronger than ever. When my knee is healed, I'm going to be 100 percent. I'm going to be better than ever. I'm really hoping that I get my title. I want my title."
Step one on his quest to the title was completed today (Aug. 5, 2014), as "The Mauler" underwent successful knee surgery in Sweden.
Despite the fact that Jones and Cormier already got a head start on the action, step two won't potentially unfold until Sept. 27, 2014 after the two men settle their difference inside the Octagon in the main event of UFC 178 in Las Vegas, Nevada.