UFC 178

Alexander Gustafsson Out, Daniel Cormier in vs. Jon Jones at UFC 178

USA Today
Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2014

The too-good-to-be-true UFC 178 card took its first hit Wednesday evening, as light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson was forced out of his main event against Jon Jones due to injury. 

The news came via UFC.com's Thomas Gerbasi, who also reported that Daniel Cormier (15-0, 4-0 UFC) will step up in Gustafsson's place to face the champ. 

Gerbasi writes: 

The long-awaited rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, scheduled for UFC 178 in Las Vegas on September 27, has been postponed after the Swede suffered an injury in training this week. Although there are scores of hungry challengers waiting for a crack at Jones’ crown, few can rival Daniel Cormier's burning desire to topple the champ at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

For fans, this is a bittersweet announcement. 

On one hand, the rematch between Jones and Gustafsson was one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. Fans eagerly awaited this fight since the moment their first bout at UFC 165 ended and Jones' hand was raised. Gustafsson, fighting the best fight of his life that night, gave the champion all he could handle, and we saw Bones look human for the first time in his career. 

Sep 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Jon Jones congratulates Alexander Gustafsson (left) after Jones' victory in their light heavyweight championship bout at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Could the Swede do it again at UFC 178 on September 27? We were all set to find out, but an undisclosed injury now puts those plans on hold.

On the bright side, Cormier is most definitely a worthy challenger. A former Olympic wrestler, he brings a ridiculously powerful array of takedowns in the cage, and his striking and submission games are ever-improving. 

He's a menace, and nobody has put him in any sort of danger so far in his mixed martial arts career. 

Jones, however, is a different beast. 

At 20-1 (with his one loss being a disqualification in a fight he was clearly winning), Jones has enjoyed perfection throughout his professional fighting career, and he's blended every facet of the MMA game with unparalleled skill and grace.

His lone slip-up came against Gustafsson, and even in that scrap he won enough rounds to take home the judges' decision. Even when he wasn't totally on his game, he was good enough to beat the No. 1 challenger in the world. 

That's special. 

Now, Jones puts his title and his light heavyweight-record seven consecutive title defenses on the line against Cormier in a fight we all suspected would happen, just not this soon. 

For their part, Jones and Cormier seem to be ready for battle, as Cormier recently tweeted a pointed exchange between the two (NSFW).

How do you feel about the switch? Do you like Jones vs. Cormier better, or were you frothing over Jones vs. Gustafsson II?

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