alexander-gustafsson-10.jpgSTOCKHOLM – Alexander Gustafsson is over the sorrow of losing his headlining spot at Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 event, and he’s already looking ahead. But he’s learned a valuable lesson for the future: Headgear can be a fighter’s best friend.

“The last three weeks, I will start wearing headgear, even when I sleep,” Gustafsson joked with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “It’s a lesson, and I learned from it. Let’s look forward now. To my fans, I’m sorry, but I will be back.”

Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9, which takes place in Gustafsson’s home nation of Sweden. But in one of his final practices, he said a freak accident opened a gash over his left eye when as a light grappling session saw him lose his balance and pitch forward into a cage post.

“It was one of my last training sessions, and it wasn’t even hard,” Gustafsson said. “We weren’t sparring. We were wrestling, pummeling arms, and I just injured myself. It’s a f—ed up thing to happen in your last training session.

“For me, it wasn’t a big deal. I was like, ‘Let’s go and fix this – stitch it up.’”

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out exactly as Gustafsson hoped. When officials from the Swedish MMA Federation were informed of the injury, they examined Gustafsson and ultimately decided that he wasn’t medically fit to fight.

“I wasn’t going to train any more before the fight and just let it heal it up,” Gustafsson said. “Then I guess someone found out about it and someone else found out about it. It was just a chain reaction. I had to go to the doctor, and they checked it out and said it didn’t look good.

“It’s been a circus. This is the first time it’s ever happened in my career, so it’s a new thing for me, and it’s been tough.”

Stepping into Gustafsson’s place is unheralded promotional newcomer Ilir Latifi (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who now becomes an extremely unlikely UFC headliner. If there is a bright side to the entire situation, Gustafsson said it’s that his training partner has been given an incredible opportunity.

“You won’t find a better guy,” Gustafsson said. “He’s a good friend of mine, a good person. He’s a great athlete. He’s tough. I can’t wait to see it.”

Whether or not fans will enjoy that same excitement level remains to be seen. Initial reaction has been tepid, at best, as the Swedish public was longing to see Gustafsson on Saturday at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena. The top light heavyweight contender understands fans’ disappointment but insists he’ll make it up to them very shortly. In the meantime, he’s trying to remain as positive as possible.

“I’m sorry to let my fans down, but I can’t be depressed about this,” he said. “I can’t walk around and think about it anymore. It’s done. It’s fixed. I can just look forward now.

“I learned a lesson. It’s not going to happen again.”

Should Mousasi prove victorious on Saturday night, he may very well be lined up again with Gustafsson. Current top contender Lyoto Machida could also prove a worthy adversary if “The Dragon” isn’t granted a title shot.

Gustafsson said he’s fine taking on any opponent, just as long as it pushes him toward a title shot.

“I need a week of rest,” Gustafsson said. “After that, I’ll get back to training. I’m training hard. I’m in shape. I’m ready for five rounds. I can take a fight anytime, anywhere, any place.

“I’ll fight whoever. I want to fight a guy that will bring me to the championship. That’s what I want.”

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

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

Related News

Invicta FC 13, with 'Cyborg' headlining, will piggyback with UFC 189 on July 10 in Las Vegas

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Invicta FC plans to tag along again on another major UFC fight weekend.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Ronda Rousey's coach describes Cat Zingano's fighting style as 'desperate'

  • 29 days ago
  • 16 views

Ronda Rousey's coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, talks about Cat Zingano's "desperate" fighting style ahead of UFC 184. Cat Zingano has defied a lot of critics during her UFC career. When Zingano debuted in read news >>

UFC 184 Embedded Episode 5: Shedding Pounds and Making Weight | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 22 views

During episode 5 of UFC 184 Embedded, the headlining ladies: Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano, Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington shed pounds to make weight. read news >>

Gleison Tibau on his critics and how he 'can't believe' he's not in the UFC rankings

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

Gleison Tibau talks about his plans to beat Tito Ortiz's record for most UFC appearances this year and also speaks about his disbelief at not having a spot in the UFC rankings. Gleison Tibau is somew read news >>

UFC 184 Results: Roan Carneiro Puts Mark Munoz to Sleep in Prelims Headliner | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Roan Carneiro stormed back into the Octagon at UFC 184 on Saturday night, putting Mark Munoz to sleep in the opening moments of their fight. read news >>

UFC 184 results, photos: Roan Carneiro puts Mark Munoz to sleep with wicked choke

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

LOS ANGELES – Roan Carneiro made a major statement with his first fight in the UFC since being released by the promotion more than six years ago, choking Mark Munoz out cold with a rear-naked choke.F read news >>

UFC 184 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 27 days ago
  • 390 views

Following Saturday’s UFC 184 event in Los Angeles, several of the winning and losing fighterstook to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters. Check out those reactions.F read news >>

White hasn't spoken to ex-champ Georges St-Pierre after new drug-testing plans

  • 27 days ago
  • 24 views

When longtime UFC champion Georges St-Pierre decided to take a break from MMA, he cited a performance-enhancing drug problem and the UFC’s inadequate drug testing as two of his primary reasons.Filed read news >>

Bellator files lawsuit against 'Rampage' Jackson ahead of scheduled UFC return

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA today filed a lawsuit to block onetime tournament winner Quinton Jackson from fighting in the UFC.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

Trending News

Top News

Jump to: