Taken out of a key fight due to injury, Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) would like to fill the gap if the UFC later finds itself in a similar jam.
Gustafsson trainer Eric Delfierro today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the Swedish light-heavyweight recently made two requests to UFC matchmakers: be an injury replacement for the division’s next title fight, or face ex-champ Lyoto Machida.
Of course, since Lyoto Machida is the No. 1 contender, he might wind up doing that anyway if the winner of an upcoming title bout between champ Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen is hurt or takes an extended break. Jones and Sonnen headline UFC 159 later this month.
Machida, who outpointed Dan Henderson to secure a title shot, recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he’d rather stay active than wait for the opportunity.
Delfierro said Gustafsson is on vacation for at least another week following a disappointment in his native country. Scheduled to fight ex-Strikeforce champ Gegard Mousasi at UFC on FUEL TV 9 this past Saturday, he sustained a cut above his left eye in training, which prompted the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation to nix his participation in the fight.
UFC President Dana White criticized the commission’s decision, releasing a photo shot by MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan that made the cut appear less severe than one shot immediately after the injury, which showed a bright red gash in a bad area above Gustafsson’s eye.
“Worst decision I have EVER seen to pull fight,” White wrote.
Gustafsson, 26, was expected to secure a title shot if victorious over Mousasi, who wound up dominating Gustafsson’s training partner, Ilir Latifi.
“The Mauler” has won six straight inside the octagon.
For complete coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site. And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.