Alexander Gustafsson’s goals haven’t changed, despite suffering a torn meniscus in training camp. He still plans on winning the UFC title and becoming the first man to defeat Jon Jones.
“I really want to fight him,” Gustafsson said during an interview with UFC.com.
The two light heavyweight stars shared the spotlight nearly a year ago at UFC 165, where Jones eked out a decision. With some calling it the greatest title fight in UFC history, it only made sense that the UFC would waste little time in putting together the blockbuster rematch.
After winning a fight apiece, Jones and Gustafsson were slated to stand across from each other once again on September 27 in the main event of UFC 178. But an unforeseen injury to Gustafsson’s knee threw a monkey wrench in the UFC’s original plans.
During a sparring session, Gustafsson says that he felt his right knee pop a couple of times. It wasn’t until the next morning that he realized the severity of the injury.
“I was sparring and I felt my knee pop twice, but it didn’t hurt, it just felt strange,” Gustafsson said. “I finished training and came home and then I woke up the next morning and I could barely walk on my right leg. Then I felt the knee right away.”
A trip to the doctor confirmed a torn meniscus in Gustafsson’s knee. The injury will require surgery, and the post-rehab work typically lasts anywhere between five and six weeks, depending on the individual.
While the injury is a disappointing setback, Gustafsson won’t waste his time crying over spilt milk. He thanked all the fans for the unending support and vowed to come back a much stronger fighter.
As for Jones vs. Cormier, Gustafsson sees a highly competitive title fight that will come down to the judges siding with the champ.
“It’s an interesting matchup,” said Gustafsson. “Both are great athletes and it’s going to be a tough fight for sure. But Jones has his height and reach advantage over DC, so I think that will be the key thing in this fight. I think Jones by decision.”