Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is switching things up for a couple of upcoming events (again), as a fight between Volkan Oezdemir and Mauricio Rua — which was set to go down at UFC Fight Night 134 on July 22, 2018 in Hamburg, Germany — has been cancelled for a second time.
That’s because the promotion opted to yank “No Time” from the event and book him to face Alexander Gustafsson at the upcoming UFC 227 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Aug. 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has the word:
BREAKING: Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) and Volkan Oezdemir (@volkan_oezdemir) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles, multiple sources say. UFC has been working on a fight for Gustafsson on that card for awhile, finally got one done.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 2, 2018
As for what happens to Rua, the promotion is currently looking for a replacement for him to remain on the UFC Fight Night 134 event, with Anthony Smith being the front-runner to get the nod.
Per sources, Anthony Smith is the front runner to replace Volkan Oezdemir against Shogun Rua on July 22 in Germany. Not done yet, but he’s the leading candidate at the moment.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 2, 2018
Rua’s first scheduled fight against Volkan — which was set for UFC Fight Night 129 in May —- was moved due to “No Time’s” pending legal issues. A reason for the most recent switch wasn’t given, but it’s clear the promotion was digging the Gustafsson vs Oezdemir matchup a bit more.
Gus was linked to a potential scrap against Luke Rockhold at UFC 227, but Luke was forced to bow out due to a leg injury, leaving the towering Swede with an empty dance card. Volkan hasn’t competed since losing to Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 this past January. As for Gustafsson, he is riding a two fight win streak and was last seen beating the brakes off Glover Teixeira in May of 2017.
Since then, “The Mauler” has been trying to score a rematch against division king Daniel Cormier, but “DC” put his belt on ice to challenge current Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at this Saturday night’s (July 7) UFC 226 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC 227 will feature a bantamweight championship rematch between division king T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, while Demetrious Johnson defends his Flyweight title against Henry Cejudo for the second time in the co-main event.
For more on that event click here.