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

CM Punk Plans to Fight Again Whether It's in the UFC or Elsewhere | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

Despite losing in his UFC debut, CM Punk is determined to fight again whether it's in the UFC or not. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 28 days ago
  • 56 views

Following Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver, several of the winning and losing fighters took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Bermudez embraces grind ahead of Houston main event

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

The names of former wrestlers fill the UFC Hall of Fame: Blatnick, Coleman, Couture, Frye, Hughes, Liddell, Ortiz, Severn. Dennis Bermudez, has never stopped embracing the grind of the room. read news >>

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Julianna Pena and UFC on FOX 23's other losing fighters?

  • 28 days ago
  • 19 views

With another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on FOX 23’s losing fighters. read news >>

Chan Sung Jung full media scrum ahead of UFC Fight Night 104

  • 24 days ago
  • 8 views

HOUSTON – For the first time in more than three years, “The Korean Zombie” will step into the UFC octagon. Check out his media scrum from today’s UFC Fight Night 104 open workouts.Filed under: News, read news >>

James Vick full media scrum ahead of UFC Fight Night 104

  • 24 days ago
  • 4 views

HOUSTON – After suffering the first loss of his professional MMA career, Texan James Vick now fights in his home state.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 104 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 21 days ago
  • 46 views

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media plat read news >>

Dennis Bermudez full media scrum ahead of UFC Fight Night 104

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

HOUSTON – Featherweight Dennis Bermudez will welcome “The Korean Zombie” back to the octagon, and he believes there’s quite a bit on the line.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Julianna Pena reflects on first UFC loss: Even 'Michael Jordan missed shots'

  • 27 days ago
  • 25 views

Julianna Pena says she won’t allow losing her most high-profile fight to date to derail her career.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Late Addition Completes UFC 208 Line-up Days Ahead of Fight Time | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 4 views

Just days removed from fight time, the UFC 208: Holm vs. de Randamie fight card is finally complete. read news >>