Late last month it was announced that Alexander Gustafsson would not be getting the immediate Jon Jones rematch with a title on the line that he had hoped for. Instead, he would be getting Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, on March 8, 2014, in London, England. 'Little Nog' was coming off what may be the Upset of the Year, beating Rashad Evans at UFC 156, and before that a win over Tito Ortiz.
The hard core fanbase was baffled when just six days later Ariel Helwani announced that Little Nog has been forced to withdraw from the fight due a back injury. How do you take a fight four months away and then back out less than a week later due to a continuing back injury?
The UFC tries to book fighters three times per year, and Little Nog has fought just six times in four years. Injury has repeatedly forced him from scheduled fights during his career in the UFC, including Gustafsson twice, Rich Franklin, and, for the same back injury, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Chael Sonnen, who predicted the drop out, was merciless on Twitter.
•He fights less than Ghandi
•FOR SALE: MMA GLOVES Never used. Contact Lil' Nog, 1 Fragile Chicken Road, No-Show, Brazil
•He signs his contracts in disappearing ink
•Too bad he can't list his profession as "Fight Avoider" on his tax return
•Maybe dos Santos can lend Lil Nog his heart while his face heals
•Instead of a contract, Joe Silva faxes him a Missing Person's Report
•it's Halloween. Lil' Nog went as a FIGHTER
•But he didn't fool anybody and got no candy
However, in response to a reporters question at the post fight media scrum Saturday night about whether he was frustrated with Little Nog's record of injuries, UFC president Dana White said that Nogueira never accepted the fight with Gustafsson in the first place.
"The fight isn't for four months, and he's already determined he's hurt," said White. "I don't understand that. The guy is always hurt. Every time you call him, he's hurt."
"What happened was that night we decided to make the fight, Gustafsson said yes, and they couldn't get hold of (Little Nog), so I said, 'F--- it,' and just went with it and announced the fight. And of course, he's hurt."
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