Alexander Gustafsson’s return to active competition continues to be a bumpy ride.
The former Light Heavyweight contender has been limping along fighting just once a year for the past five years, with his last win coming back in 2017. A brief retirement following a 2019 loss to Anthony Smith was followed by a fast first round loss to Fabricio Werdum in his 2020 Heavyweight debut.
Now, his 2021 return to 205-pound competition has been called off because the Swede suffered an injury in training camp.
MMA Junkie was first to announce that an undisclosed injury would take Gustafsson off a UFC Fight Night (UFC Vegas 36 for those still keeping count) on Sept. 4, 2021. No word yet on whether his opponent, Paul Craig, will remain on the card or be shifted around — we suppose that depends on the nature of Gustafsson’s injury and whether UFC can wrangle a decent 205er on two weeks notice.
Craig is currently on a five-fight win streak with his two latest victories coming against hyped prospect Jamahal Hill and Pride FC legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. While technically unranked due to all that retiring and division jumping, Gustafsson would still have been a massive name on Craig’s resume, the kind of thing to push him way up from his current No. 12 ranking in the division.
Neither Craig nor Gustafsson have commented on the fight cancelation since news broke on Saturday night. We’ll keep you in the loop on what happens next with Craig and what exactly happened to “The Mauler.”
UFC Vegas 36 goes down inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be headlined by Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till.