Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson - Photo by MMAnytt

Dana White: Alexander Gustafsson Had ‘Serious Injury’, Hopes He Can Return in Late 2018

UFC president Dana White gives an update on former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson and his expected return date to the Octagon.

If Alexander Gustafsson didn’t have back luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all.

The former two-time light heavyweight title challenger has been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to return to action after his last fight took place all the way back in May 2017.

Since that time, Gustafsson has inked a new UFC contract but he’s been unable to compete due to various injuries that have kept him sidelined.

The latest setback came as Gustafsson was preparing to fight at UFC 227 in Los Angeles this past weekend. He was scheduled to face another former title contender in Volkan Oezdemir but he also dealt with an injury that knocked him out of the fight.

Rising light heavyweight star Anthony Smith then tried to get the fight after he made short work of former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua but then Gustafsson had to drop off the card for what he called a ‘minor’ injury.

Now the UFC has moved onto book Oezdemir against Smith and that left everybody wondering about Gustafsson’s next fight.

Well according to UFC president Dana White, Gustafsson’s injury wasn’t all that minor but the Swedish fighter is currently in recovery and the hope is he’ll still make an appearance in the Octagon before the end of 2018.

“It wasn’t a minor injury,” White revealed when speaking to the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “He had a serious injury to his hamstring. He doesn’t have to do surgery, he’s doing physical therapy and we’re hoping he can come back before the end of the year. He was hurt, legitimate injury and he’s working on it.

“We’re trying to get him in before the end of the year.”

 

 

 

 

Hamstring injuries, especially if there’s a tear involved, can take several months of recovery time.

There was plenty of speculation after Gustafsson was pulled from UFC 227 and said he was dealing with a minor injury that perhaps the promotion was moving towards a title shot against reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Now it appears Gustafsson is just trying to get healthy enough to fight again before the year is over as the UFC attempts to book him on one of the cards still left remaining in 2018.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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