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Gustafsson vs Blachowicz 2 was original plan for UFC Stockholm, but injury paved the way for Anthony Smith

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Gustafsson vs Blachowicz Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) thought mixed martial arts (MMA) fans would turn out for a potential Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jan Blachowicz rematch, I guess because their first go-round was so exciting ... that most of us forgot they even fought.

Not that it matters, as those plans went up in smoke when Blachowicz was forced to turn the fight down, not long after entering the Anthony Smith lottery once “Lionheart” came up short against Jon Jones in the UFC 235 main event.

“A week ago I was offered a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson,” Blachowicz wrote on Twitter. “Went for a medical checkup and found out I still have to take some time off to fully heal my elbow. Had to turn it down. Bloody elbow. Good luck Alex and Anthony Smith, know we’ll meet each other soon.”

Gustafsson defeated Blachowicz by unanimous decision at the UFC Fight Night 93 event back in late 2016, but rebounded with a 4-1 run that could have led to the light heavyweight title, had Thiago Santos not put him out to pasture last month in Prague.

Both “The Mauler” and “Lionheart” are looking to bounce back from losses to Jones; however, the situation is a little more dire for Gustafsson, who has now come up short in three different title fights.

So ... anyone out there who would have preferred Blachowicz over Smith?