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

'UFC 207 Embedded,' No. 4 and 5: Fight night draws near and Garbrandt and Cruz are fired up

  • 23 days ago
  • 74 views

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this week for UFC 207, and the organization has rolled out the “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Friday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena.Filed under: News, UFC, read news >>

Is Ronda Rousey Broken or Ready to Roar Back? Her Past May Offer Some Clues

  • 23 days ago
  • 21 views

The kick the UFC doesn't want you to see landed squarely on the neck, immaculately timed and perfectly placed. The result was instantaneous—the complete removal of UFC champion Ronda Rousey's motor s read news >>

UFC 207 draws sold-out 18,533 attendance, a Las Vegas UFC record, for $4.75 million live gate

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – Friday’s UFC 207 event drew an announced attendance of 18,533 and a live gate of $4.75 million.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Hoping setbacks in past, UFC 209's Todd Duffee doesn't feel like a 31-year-old heavyweight

  • 15 days ago
  • 37 views

Being a fighter hasn’t always been the easiest road for Todd Duffee. Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103 draws 11,589 fans for gate north of $900,000 in Phoenix

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

PHOENIX – Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 103 event drew an announced attendance of 11,589 and a live gate of $913,372.75.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

BJ Penn Was Embarrassed by Past Performances (UFC Phoenix video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago
  • 8 views

It's been a long time since UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn has been in the Octagon, but it's been even longer since he scored a victory in the Octagon. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 103 results: Drakkar Klose cruises past Devin Powell for decision sweep

  • 6 days ago
  • 10 views

PHOENIX – Drakkar Klose didn’t give fellow UFC newcomer Devin Powell much of a chance to do anything with his debut, relentlessly punching, kneeing and foot-stomping the “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fi read news >>

Weidman to face Mousasi at UFC 210 in Buffalo

  • 3 days ago
  • 0 views

Middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi has been calling for a fight with former 185-pound champion Chris Weidman, and on Apr. 8, he will be granted his wish. The only catch is that he’ll have to go to read news >>

Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi Meet at UFC 210 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 3 days ago
  • 16 views

Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will face Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210. read news >>

Gegard Mousasi heads to Chris Weidman's New York turf for UFC 210 fight in Buffalo

  • 3 days ago
  • 8 views

Gegard Mousasi thought he knew the likeliest scenario for his next assignment, and he was right. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>