alexander-gustafsson-6.jpgUFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson was sparring with MMA gloves and not wearing headgear in the final couple weeks of his training camp, several sources close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

Gustafsson said the cut, which ultimately scratched him from Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 headliner, resulted from a wrestling practice this past week. Others, though, told MMAjunkie.com it occurred during a sparring session.

Regardless of how it happened, the promotion on Tuesday tapped Gustafsson’s teammate Ilir Latifi to fill in, and he’ll make his UFC debut in front of his home crowd this weekend at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. 

The Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation, which oversees Saturday’s event, on Tuesday ruled Gustafsson unfit to compete.

It’s not the first time a last-minute gash has altered the face of a major fight card. Dubiously, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock suffered a cut the day of a CBS-televised EliteXC event while rolling with a training partner, which set up Seth Petruzelli’s shocking upset of Shamrock’s originally scheduled opponent, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.

Several industry veterans agree that cuts are all too familiar in the fight business, though there is some disagreement regarding who’s to blame. There are precautions that can and should be taken, but as longtime striking and MMA coach Duke Roufus said, “It’s the wild, wacky world of the fight game.”

Veteran middleweight Bristol Marunde said fighters are getting smarter about protecting themselves prior to a fight, particularly in an age when more dollars are at stake. But he believes Gustafsson should have been more careful with a week left until he stepped into the cage.

“If you’re that close to a fight, come on, let’s be real here,” he said. “You’re not going to improve on anything. You should be having fun in the gym. You and your opponent should be wearing headgear so you don’t clash heads. You should be wearing big, puffy gloves. So this is a very amateur mistake.”

Marunde, who appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter 16? and is a veteran of the Las Vegas fight scene, placed the blame squarely on the 26-year-old Gustafsson’s trainers. In the fight capital of the world, he said a trend toward a measured, scientific approach to preparation has taken favor over a “more is better” mindset. The latter, he said, likely led to the mishap. 

“I blame Gustafsson, but ultimately, his trainers should be at fault for allowing him to do that,” he said. “They should be keeping a closer watch on their fighter.”

But there are those who believe the final week of training before a fight is the ideal time to pick up the pace. Mike Riley, a retired trainer who’s worked with a handful of UFC and Strikeforce vets over 20 years in combat sports, advocated 30-minute, full-contact sessions that often are called “shark tanks,” which pit a single fighter against a revolving door of fresh opponents. 

Such sessions, he said, were necessary to hitting peak condition prior to cutting weight, which he said impairs an athlete’s ability to recover from harder workouts, and thus, heightening the possibility of complications, including injuries. 

“For MMA fighters, wearing headgear is a serious liability,” Riley said. “You start sparring with headgear and big gloves, and it builds a false sense of security. Seven days out is when you start that de-load. If you fight on a Saturday night, the Saturday night prior to your fight should be your last hard night of sparring. Now, if you’re three days out and you’re hard sparring, that’s stupid. But if you’re more than seven days out, you have to keep training up to that point. You can’t quit hard training too soon.”

Several MMA teams in MMA history are notorious for grueling, all-out training sessions. Shamrock’s Lion’s Den was the source of several cruel tales of punishment doled out between teammates. Brazil’s Chute Boxe was famed for all-out gym fights. 

Today, American Kickboxing Academy carries a reputation for getting as close to a fight as possible in the gym. Several of its stars – most notably Mike Swick and Josh Thomson – have seen careers hamstrung by injury. Gustafsson trains at several gyms in his native Sweden but often flies stateside to train at Alliance MMA alongside UFC vets Brandon Vera, Ross Pearson and, prior to a devastating knee injury, UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz. 

Longtime MMA promoter Sven Bean said he usually gets a call from fighters or trainers the week prior to a fight. He backed athletic commissions’ mission to protect the fighter’s safety and said last-minute withdrawals are simply part of the game when putting together events. 

In such cases, he hopes to find a fighter who’s not only willing to fight on short-notice, but also has the medical paperwork required by athletic commissions to compete. At a recent Resurrection Fighting Alliance event, he was lucky to replace his headliner on nine days’ notice.

“Two weeks out, that’s when everybody’s grandma dies,” he said. “Not so much on the big shows, but the regional events. It’s a lot rarer the week of, and in my opinion, that’s just a poor decision by a camp to be training without headgear and regular MMA gloves. If you’re at the level of the UFC, hopefully you’ve got a camp around you that knows what to do and what not to do. If it was the week prior, things can happen for sure, but you should be taking every precaution.”

For more on UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Alexander Gustafsson)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

New York strikes down UFC lawsuit; appeal considered

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

A federal lawsuit filed four years ago by the UFC and industry veterans to break New York’s ban on professional MMA was dismissed today, prompting a terse response from the industry-leader.Filed unde read news >>

The MMA Hour - 275 - Alexander Gustafsson

  • 26 days ago
  • 7 views

Alexander Gustafsson discusses what's next after his January loss to Anthony Johnson. read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira Booked for UFC Fight Night 69

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

A huge light heavyweight bout between former contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira has been booked for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 69 event. The news was first reported by Swedish MMA read news >>

Dana White Confirms Gustafsson vs. Teixeira for UFC Berlin

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

A light heavyweight match-up between Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will headline UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin. read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira headlines UFC Fight Night card in Berlin

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Looking to shake off recent losses, light heavyweight stars Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will square off. The duo will meet in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on June 20 in Berli read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira to headline UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Former light-heavyweight title challengers Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will headline the UFC’s upcoming event in Germany.Filed under: Featured, MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson: Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson hits harder than Jon Jones

  • 27 days ago
  • 43 views

Swedish light heavyweight star Alexander Gustafsson's opinion of the UFC 187 matchup between UFC champion Jon Jones and challenger Anthony "Rumble" Johnson carries more weight than most. Gustafsson, read news >>

Report: UFC Berlin main event will be Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

An unconfirmed report coming out of Sweden says that light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson will headline the UFC's return trip to Berlin against Glover Teixeira this June. Alexander Gustaf read news >>

Report: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira under consideration for UFC Fight Night 69 on June 20 in Berlin

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is looking to keep one light heavyweight contender in the 205-pound title hunt. And send the other one packing. According to our Swedish friends at Kimura.se, for read news >>

Trending News

Top News

Jump to: