While he admits he’d like the opportunity, Wanderlei Silva today admitted he was simply pulling an April Fools’ Day prank when he said he had replaced Alexander Gustafsson at Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 event.
With Gustafsson’s status questionable due to a recent facial cut, Silva tweeted on Monday that the UFC had contacted him about filling in and fighting light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi.
Like any good April Fools’ Day joke, Silva’s claim was believable enough to seem possible, despite the April 1 date. Mousasi even tweeted that he’d take the fight. Silva, though, admitted it was all a rouse.
“I catch you wand the best April first ever!! But I would like this to be true!” he tweeted, with the accompanying (and terrifying) photo.
As of now, Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) vs. Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is still a go, though the Swedish MMA Federation ultimately will decide if Gustafsson can fight despite his cut. The FUEL TV-televised event takes place in the Swede’s home country at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC) actually would have been a pretty high-profile replacement. The PRIDE legend returned from a nine-month layoff and staved off a potential retirement by scoring a rousing knockout win over Brian Stann in this past month’s UFC on FUEL TV 8 headliner. The fan favorite is now 2-1 (with a TKO victory over Cung Le) since a career-worst 2-6 skid from 2006 to 2011.
For more on UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.