Bad Break: Alexander Withdraws from UFC 98

By Staff May 4, 2009
A broken hand forced light heavyweight Houston Alexander to withdraw from his match with International Fight League veteran Andre Gusmao at UFC 98 “Evans vs. Machida” on May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. UFC officials announced the change on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Alexander becomes the fourth fighter to pull out of the event, joining Yushin Okami, Josh Koscheck and James Irvin.

His Octagon career in free fall, Alexander has dropped three consecutive bouts and was believed to be in danger of losing his spot on the UFC roster. The likeable Nebraskan has not fought since September when he submitted to an arm-triangle choke from Eric Schafer at UFC Fight Night 15. That followed consecutive losses to Irvin and Thiago Silva. Alexander (8-4, 1 NC) burst on the scene in 2007 when he destroyed world-ranked light heavyweight Keith Jardine at UFC 71.

Gusmao, 31, made his UFC debut in August, when he lost to the dynamic Jon Jones by unanimous decision. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with strong stand-up skills, he holds a pair of knockout wins against Pat Miletich protégé Mike Ciesnolevicz. Gusmao (5-1) will likely remain on the UFC 98 card, though a replacement for Alexander has not yet been announced.

A light heavyweight title fight between champion Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida will headline UFC 98, along with a grudge match between former welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.
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