A six-fight main card for next month’s “UFC on FUEL TV 9: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi” event is now official, including confirmation that the evening’s co-main event will see Ryan Couture (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meet Ross Pearson (14-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the plans with multiple sources close to the event.
Also included on the main-card lineup are Philip De Fries (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Matt Mitrione (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Mike Easton (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Brad Pickett (22-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Diego Brandao (15-8 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Pablo Garza (12-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Akira Corassani (10-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Robert Peralta (16-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
Featuring a light-heavyweight headliner between top Swedish contender Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and former Strikeforce champ Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), UFC on FUEL TV 9 takes place April 6 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, and the main card airs on FUEL TV following Facebook prelims.
Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, will fight outside the U.S. for the first time, and he will do it without corner help from his father, who recently signed a deal with Spike TV, the UFC’s former cable home. As part of the deal, Randy Couture will be part of a reality series with Bellator, the UFC’s rival, news which riled up UFC President Dana White enough to say the former two-division UFC champ wouldn’t even be able to buy a ticket to a UFC event, let alone be allowed to corner his son. White did say, though, that Ryan Couture was offered a chance to leave the UFC if he wanted, given the promotion’s bad relationship with his father, and that Couture wanted to stay.
Pearson returned to lightweight in December and scored a big third-round TKO against George Sotiropoulos at UFC on FX 6 in Australia. That fight came after the two coached opposite each other on “TUF: Smashes” and became fairly heated rivals. Pearson, the Season 9 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter,” went 5-2 at lightweight in the UFC. But after a loss to Edson Barboza, he tested the waters at featherweight. He went 1-1 there, and a second-round TKO loss to Cub Swanson sent him back to 155 pounds.
UFC on FUEL TV 9 was originally expected to feature a co-feature between female fighters Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano. However, UFC Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa Garry Cook declined to host the bout, and it was pushed back one week to The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, which takes place April 13 in Las Vegas.
The latest UFC on FUEL TV 9 lineup includes:
- Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi
- Ryan Couture vs. Ross Pearson
- Philip De Fries vs. Matt Mitrione
- Mike Easton vs. Brad Pickett
- Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza
- Akira Corassani vs. Robert Peralta
- Michael Johnson vs. Reza Madadi
- Adlan Amagov vs. Chris Spang
- Marcus Brimage vs. Conor McGregor
- Ben Alloway vs. Ryan LaFlare
- Michael Kuiper vs. Tom Lawlor
- Papy Abedi vs. Besam Yousef
- Adam Cella vs. Tor Troeng*
* – Not officially announced
For more on UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Ryan Couture)