We were lead to believe that Antonio (Lil Nog) Nogueira had signed to fight number one contender Alexander Gustafsson at the UFC’s March 8th event in London. However, recent findings show that wasn’t the case at all.
A lot of fans and MMA media were confused how Nogueira could agree to a fight more than four months away and then pull out of the bout a few days later. As White put it, ‘Lil’ Nog’ did no such thing:
“What happened was that night we decided to make the fight, Gustafsson said yes, and they couldn’t get hold of him, so I said, ‘F—k it,’ and just went with it and announced the fight, and of course, he’s hurt.”
Last month White announced his intentions to have Gustafsson vs. Nogueira headline the UFC’s March London event, which would kick off the start of the UFC’s European Tour event. Only a few days later it was announced that Nogueira had dropped out of the contest due to a lingering back injury. It comes out now that Nogueira had no intentions of fighting in the bout in the first place.
The UFC head admitted after last night’s UFC Fight Night 32 event that he was partially to blame for the mix up, but instead of apologizing for signing Nogueira up for a bout which he never knew about, the UFC head took it upon himself to criticize ‘Lil Nog’:’
“The fight isn’t for four months, and he’s already determined he’s hurt. I don’t understand that. The guy is always hurt. Every time you call him, he’s hurt,”
So let’s get this straight. Dana White signed Nogueira for a fight against the number one contender in the light-heavyweight division without even speaking to him or his manager before announcing the fight.
White has since found out ‘Lil Nog’ was injured and therefore cannot fight, so he has to replace him. Instead of White apologizing for his mistake he goes on to blame Nogueira for not being able to fight in March. Is that really fair?
One man who is happy about how the circumstances have carried out is Gustafsson’s new opponent Jimi Manuwa. ‘The Poster Boy’ has been given the biggest opportunity in his fighting career to replace ‘Lil Nog’ and take on ‘The Mauler.’