The #2 rated UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson beat Jan Blachowicz last month, and was immediately scheduled to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on November 19, but was forced to pull out with a recurring back injury. Now co-manager Tomas Ghassemi, reports that that the injury, which has afflicted the fighter for three or four years, has taken him out indefinitely.
“Pain will come up and then disappear whenever it wants,” said Ghassemi to Brett Okamoto for ESPN. “It’s maybe an issue with a disk. When the pain starts to go into his legs, that’s when he knows it will affect his training and that’s what happened with this one.
“We wanted a quick turnaround after this last fight. He’s in great shape, but when it flared up and went into his legs, we couldn’t take the fight. If you try to fight through it and lose, you can’t blame it after the fact. It’s better to deal with it now.”
The manager says Gus took time off already this year, and that he has been diagnosed in the past, only to have the pain disappear. It flared up while training for the fight with Anthony Johnson in 2015, and then largely passed. The fighter has seen some top specialists, and although the team is confident it can be treated, it will take time, which means there is no set timetable for his return at this point.