An untimely knee injury has forced veteran light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira off of the upcoming UFC on Fuel TV 2 card on April 14th in Stockholm, Sweden. In his place, Thiago Silva has stepped in to face Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson in the night’s main event.
News of Nogueira’s injury was first reported by MMAnytt.se today and UFC officials later confirmed the change. Silva returns after serving a one-year suspension for falsifying a post-fight urine test at UFC 125. Gustafsson has amassed four straight stoppage wins since his lone professional setback.
Silva (14-2-0, 1 NC) finished each of his first four opponents inside the Octagon before falling to future champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 94. He rebounded with a quick knockout of former top contender Keith Jardine seven months later, but dropped a lacklustre decision to Rashad Evans in early 2010. Silva returned to action one year later and initially earned a dominant Unanimous Decision win over Brandon “The Truth” Vera, but the result was overturned to a No Contest when Silva admitted to falsifying a post-fight urine test. He was subsequently fined and suspended and now faces a tough test in his first fight back. The hard-hitting Silva has finished 12 opponents with strikes; 11 by knockout.
Gustafsson (13-1-0) headlines the first UFC card in his home country of Sweden and will be a clear fan favourite when he faces Silva next month. The talented striker has only been to a decision once in his pro career and, like Silva, he is best known for his knockout power. That was evident in his most recent bout with veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko at UFC 141. Gustafsson needed little more than two minutes to finish his elder foe with punches. The 25-year-old Swede has also worked diligently to improve his ground game over the past year, which could prove to be a key factor against Silva, who countered Vera’s striking prowess by taking him down repeatedly. A victory for Gustafsson could vault him into title contender status in the ever-changing light heavyweight division.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 takes place on April 14th at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 Fight Card (subject to change):
- Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson vs Thiago Silva
- “All American” Brian Stann vs Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara
- Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada vs Paulo Thiago
- John “The One” Maguire vs DaMarques “Darkness” Johnson
- Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs Damacio “The Angel of Death” Page
- Diego “The Gun” Nunes vs Dennis Siver
- Jason “Shotgun” Young vs Eric “Little Lee” Wisely
- Papi “Makambo” Abedi vs James Head
- Yoislandy “Cuba” Esquierdo vs Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi
- Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate vs Jörgen “The Last Viking” Kruth
- Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad
- Simeon “The Grin” Thoresen vs Besam Yousef
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)