Gustafsson’s Hand Not Broken, Likely Return in September
Yesterday, there was a bit of a frenzy in regards to Alexander Gustafsson’s status. Speculation started when Shogun’s manager Julio Heller posted on Facebook that The Mauler was not an option for Rua at UFC 149 on July 21 because “it seems like he (Gustafsson) has a broken hand and will only be back in October”. Although Gustafsson’s hand is not broken, the Swede is not quite 100% and a July return seems a bit rushed for the Swede.
Although initial reports from MMANytt.se correctly refuted any hand break, Gustafsson did later admit that there is some injury to be taken into consideration. Although, not as extreme as a broken hand, he has issues keeping him away from jumping into a fight quickly with Rua:
MMA Viking was able to contact Manos Terzitane, Gustafsson’s manager, who commented ”Alex hand is not broken but he has another injury which he is rehabilitating right now. He will be back in action soon though as it is nothing serious!”
Today, the Swede Tweeted to @HenrikKenani on Twitter saying that he would be heading to San Diego in July. With a return to Alliance for some training in July, would probably make the earliest return to the cage in September at the earliest. This is also around the time of UFC 151, which is on September 1 and matches-up Champ Jon Jones versus Dan Henderson for the light-heavyweight title.
The UFC may also want to keep the light heavyweight contender on the sidelines, just in case Dan Henderson was injured in a training camp. The Swede could step in, as he is one of the few on the UFC roster that has the resume and interest from fans to face the Champ.
Another potential date could be September 29th. The UFC European card, right now set for Nottingham, England, are popular for featuring the best in Europe and a perfect opportunity to feature the Swede against another title contender. Fellow Swede Jorgen Kruth has already been tabbed to be on the card, and may be another possible main event for The Mauler, just as he did at UFC on Fuel 2 in Stockholm, Sweden. A fight in September, during the same month as the title bout could also set the timeline for a title match showdown with the winner between Gustafsson and his likely top 5 ranked opponent.