The timing couldn’t have been worse for a planned announcement today of the winner through fan voting to share the cover of EA Sports UFC with Jon Jones. One of the two finalists, Georges St-Pierre, this morning announced that he is officially taking an indefinite leave of absence from the UFC and in the process will vacate the welterweight title. The belt will now go to the winner of Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler at UFC 171.
GSP comes off a controversial win by split-decision over Hendricks at UFC 167 a month ago. Following the fight he made surprise comments that made it sound as though he was retiring or at least seriously contemplating doing so. Now he is stepping away from the sport and presumably any promotion that might be involved with being on the EA UFC cover.
Conveniently then Alexander Gustafsson has been announced as the “winner” of the cover campaign which generated 11 million votes total throughout the tournament process. Gustafsson is currently the #1 contender in the light heavyweight division. He lost a battle to Jon Jones at UFC 165 and now the two will share the cover of EA Sports UFC.
In terms of promotion their next fights will line up nicely ahead of the game’s release on Xbox One and PS4 this spring. Jones will defend against Glover Teixeira on March 15 at UFC 171 while Gustafsson takes on Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night in London on March 8.