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Cormier to fight Jones with Gustafsson hurt

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Daniel Cormier will fight Jon Jones at UFC 178, replacing Alexander Gustafsson who withdrew © Getty Images
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UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson has withdrawn from a planned title fight against defending champion Jon Jones on September 27 due to injury.

Undefeated former US Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier will replace Gustafsson in the bout, which will headline UFC 178. The pay-per-view event takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Officials announced the switch on Wednesday.

Jones (20-1) initially wanted to fight Cormier in his next bout, but the UFC booked a rematch between he and Gustafsson (16-2) instead. The two first met at UFC 165 in a Fight of the Year candidate in September. Jones won via unanimous decision.

The 27-year-old champion has defended his title seven times, a UFC record in that division. He dominated Glover Teixeira in a five-round unanimous decision in April.

Cormier (15-0) is 2-0 since dropping to the light heavyweight division this year. The former heavyweight submitted Dan Henderson via rear-naked choke at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas.

After defeating Henderson, Cormier, 35, admitted he had fought through a torn LCL and partial ACL tear in his right knee. He was expected to undergo surgery on the knee this month, but will now forego that to pursue a UFC title.

Cormier also boasts career wins over Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva.

No timetable is currently known for Gustafsson's return.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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