(Well, technically it *was* a training injury. Alexander was trying to train his dog to dance in a circle, and the dog clawed the shit out of his face. / Photo via AlexTheMauler)
As first reported yesterday by the Swedish news outlet SVT, UFC light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson suffered a gash in his eyebrow while sparring, which could lead to the cancellation of his UFC on FUEL 9 headlining bout against Gegard Mousasi this coming Saturday. A follow-up report from MMAnytt confirmed with the Swedish MMA Association that it will take several weeks before the injury heals up, and that Gustafsson won’t be medically approved for the fight “with 99% certainty.”
If Gustafsson indeed has to withdraw from his UFC on FUEL 9 match on short notice, it would be devastating, both for the event — which was being carried to a large extent by Gustafsson — and for Alexander himself, who was likely just one more impressive performance away from clinching a light-heavyweight title shot.
However, the fight hasn’t been formally canceled yet. As UFC president Dana White explained in a text message to Ariel Helwani, “The [Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation] has not said he can’t fight, and he wants to fight.”
We’ll update you if anything changes. In the meantime, you can bet that the UFC is turning over every rock to find a big-name backup opponent for Mousasi, because if the main event is switched to Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture at the last minute, you really couldn’t blame the Swedes for rioting.