Injuries have plagued Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in recent years. | Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com
Light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has withdrawn from a planned March conflict with Alexander Gustafsson due to injury.
Promotion officials posted the news on UFC.com following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. UFC President Dana White announced the pairing just six days ago at UFC Fight Night 30, revealing that the light heavyweights would headline the organization’s March 8 return to London.
The development marks the second time Nogueira has pulled out of a fight with Gustafsson, as the men were originally supposed to meet last year at UFC on Fuel TV 2. “Minotoro” has struggled with injuries in recent years and has competed just once since stopping Tito Ortiz in December 2011. The Pride veteran last fought in February, when he upset Rashad Evans via unanimous decision at UFC 156.
By contrast, Gustafsson last competed just five weeks ago, going the distance with light heavyweight ruler Jon Jones at UFC 165 but coming up short on the scorecards in a likely “Fight of the Year” nominee. Prior to that hard-fought setback, “The Mauler” had won six straight fights, besting the likes of Thiago Silva, James Te Huna and former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua in that span.