UFC's Alexander Gustafsson plans to sleep in headgear ahead of next fight


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.

Related News

  • 12 days ago
  • 10 views

Unlike Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier says he will not undergo surgery to correct his knee issues and will instead let it heal through rehab. But will that gamble come back and bi read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 183 views

"Clowns" are supposed to make people laugh. Unfortunately "The Mauler" is still not happy. After Alexander Gustafsson caught wind of the injury to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweig read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 10 views

February 2013. UFC 156. After a hotly contested featherweight title fight, 145-pound champion Jose Aldo sits down next to Dana White and is told some strange news. Top lightweight contender Anthony " read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

Alexander Gustafsson lost his title rematch with Jon Jones to Daniel Cormier after an injury, now he wants the shot back as Jones won't be ready to fight until January. Alexander Gustafsson finds him read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 44 views

On a day when UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier came to blows during a UFC 178 press conference, the odd man out, Alexander Gustafsson is quietly keeping himself in the wing read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 14 views

Thus, securing his rematch against "Bones" for the UFC light heavyweight title. Sure, the knee injury that bounced Alexander Gustafsson from his much-anticipated title fight rematch against Ultimate read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 46 views

Alexander Gustafsson has made it clear he feels he deserves the next shot at UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones in the wake of Jones' meniscus injury. UFC president Dana White, however, has a diff read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 72 views

Because "The Mauler" isnt going to be fighting for the title anytime soon, regardless of how upset he is. Alexander Gustafsson's manager recently declared that "The Mauler" would rather sit out to fa read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 51 views

Alexander Gustafsson is disappointed. "The Mauler" impressed against Jon Jones at UFC 165, but didn’t get the immediate rematch he was hoping for. After a dominant victory over Jimi Manuwa, the Swedi read news >>