Gegard Mousasi 478x270With Alexander Gustafsson sidelined due to a severe cut, his replacement will be a Sledgehammer, not an Axe Murderer.

Less than 24 hours after the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation made it official that Gustafsson would not be allowed to fight, UFC officials enlisted the next best 205-pound Swede, Gustafsson training partner Ilir Latifi, to fight Gegard Mousasi in Saturday’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 main event.

If you’re asking yourself who Ilir Latifi is, you’re probably not alone. Known in Sweden as one of the country’s top light heavyweights outside of Gustafsson, Latifi hasn’t spent much time in the limelight.

Latifi’s biggest wins have come over the likes of King of the Cage champion Tony Lopez and WEC veteran Jorge Oliveira. He will, however, receive the biggest opportunity of his career on the biggest stage in the mixed martial arts world, a UFC main event.

The fight came about when Gustafsson was declared ineligible just four days prior to the event slated for Ericsson Global Arena in Stockholm. That left very little time to find a replacement that would be prepared both physically and with the necessary travel documents to make it in time for the fight, leaving UFC officials to enlist a home grown talent.

Former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva on Monday talked himself up as Gustafsson’s replacement, but following several interviews and confirmations to news outlets, the Axe Murder later admitted his declarations were an April Fools’ Day related hoax.

UFC president Dana White had insisted as recently as Monday that the fight card had not changed, and that Gustafsson wanted to fight. Weekend statements by SMMAF president George Sallfeldt skeptical that Gustafsson could gain clearance came to a head on Tuesday when the sanctioning body’s medical board ruled that Gustafsson would not be allowed to fight.

Enter Latifi into a three-round main event bout with Mousasi.

Mousasi, like Latifi, is also making his UFC debut on Saturday, but his resume dwarfs that of the 7-2 Swede. Mousasi maintains a professional record of 33-3-2, has held the light heavyweight championship for both Strikeforce and Dream, and is largely regarded as one of the top 205-pound fighters in the world.

To be sure, it’s an obscure UFC main event, with two debuting fighters, but it is one built from circumstance due to timing and logistics.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Gall wants to fight the "sharks" of MMA

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Mickey Gall isn't looking past CM Punk at UFC 203 on Saturday. But he admitted he wants the sharks of MMA and the big names in future fights. read news >>

The past and present of Werdum vs Browne

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Fabricio Werdum defeated Travis Browne by decision in 2014 that ultimately led to a title shot. On Saturday at UFC 203 the two will meet again in a pivotal rematch. read news >>

Donald Cerrone Draws Kelvin Gastelum for UFC New York | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 45 views

Just days after Robbie Lawler pulled out of their fight, Donald Cerrone has a new opponent on tap for UFC 205. read news >>

Why Does BJ Penn Want to Return Now? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 36 views

After seemingly ending his career, over the past two years, UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn has had time to reconsider. So, why come back now? read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 draws announced sold-out attendance of 8,410 fans in Brasilia

  • 6 days ago
  • 5 views

BRASILIA, Brazil – Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 95 event drew an announced attendance of 8,410 for the UFC’s second show in Brazil’s capital city.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 medical suspensions: Erick Silva, Luan Chagas given 180-day sits

  • 5 days ago
  • 22 views

Seven fighters from this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 95 event were issued lengthy medical suspensions, and two could be out of action for up to six months.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Zach Freeman Gunning for RFA Title, Whatever Comes Next... Comes Next | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 3 views

Following a lackluster number of fights the past couple years, Zach Freeman is focused on taking the RFA lightweight title. read news >>

Will Brooks' Tough Chicago Upbringing Built a Champion (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • a day ago
  • 6 views

Fast rising lightweight Will Brooks journeys to Chicago to revisit his harrowing past where he battled his family’s struggles and homelessness. read news >>