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Correction: Gegard Mousasi Will Probably Not Be Taking the UFC Light-Heavyweight Division by Storm


(Do not read this article while operating heavy machinery. /Photo via Getty Images)

After being inactive for all of 2012 due to a torn ACL, Gegard Mousasi began creeping back to relevance this year, choking out Mike Kyle for Strikeforce in January, then winning a lopsided 15-minute sparring session against Ilir Latifi for his UFC debut in April. For a moment, it seemed like Sweet Sassy was poised to make an impact in the UFC light-heavyweight division. Well, not so much. A new knee injury will sideline Mousasi until the end of the year, and his days at 205 might be behind him for good.

Mousasi confirmed with MMAJunkie.com Radio last week that he’s currently recovering from a surgery to correct a second tear of the same ACL, an injury which he blamed on training too hard. He doesn’t expect to return to competition until November or December — not because the rehab will take that long, but because he plans to do “a lot of partying” this year.

“I’m planning on the recovery, but I’m planning to enjoy life a little bit,” Mousasi said. “In the past, I’ve always been training, always about the sport. Once you have this injury, you discover other stuff. I plan on having a good time.”

As for his postponed fight against Alexander Gustafsson? Mousasi’s not too concerned about it. He already hinted last month that he might be dropping back down to 185 pounds — the weight-class in which he first rose to prominence — and further explained his motivations like this:

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This Week in Obesity: Gegard Mousasi, Daniel Cormier Hint at Upcoming Drops to Middleweight & Light Heavyweight, Respectively


(Mousasi, seen here trying to convince Burt Watson that his tummy is simply an optical illusion created by the unflattering pattern of his shirt. Or what we here in America refer to as The Burgundy Defense.) 

Clearly, we are being shamelessly facetious with that title, for neither Daniel Cormier or Gegard Mousasi could be considered “obese” by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, Cormier is a little heavy for his height, I guess, but his layer of protective fat is a necessity. How the hell else is he suppose to ensure that his own bones are not completely shattered by the shockwave of the wrecking balls he regularly throws at his sparring partners and opponents? He tried cutting a lot of weight once before and it damn near killed him, so what do you people want from the poor guy?! LEAVE DC ALONE, DAMMIT.

I’m sorry, I was a fat child. But thanks to the powers of MMA, I can proudly stand before you as the picture of modern health that I am today. Cormier apparently shares my enthusiasm for all things dietary, as he recently spoke with USA Today and MMAJunkie about the likelihood that he will drop to 205 to fight Jon Jones once and for all. Just not immediately:

USA Today: Physically, I’m different now. When I was saying that I couldn’t make light heavyweight, it wasn’t happening. At my heaviest, I was 264 pounds. I was consistently weighing in for fights at 250 pounds, and that was after training camps. I was losing 7, 8 pounds and being 250 pounds at weigh-ins. Now, I wake up in the morning, and I’m 234 pounds. That’s almost a 20-pound difference. Now it seems realistic. I’m lighter now than even when I was wrestling.

MMAJunkie: At first, I was like so emotionally tied to that fight. I was like, ‘I want to fight Jon Jones. I want to be in that division and fight him immediately.’ But I’m not a very impulsive guy. I kind of think things through.

I’ve thought about it, and I wouldn’t be opposed to fighting one time before then just to see how my body reacts to the weight cut. It’d be very difficult to fight him in my very first fight (at light heavyweight), in a five-round fight, and my first time down in the weight and everything. As I’ve thought about it, I kind of feel it’d be in our best interest to maybe take a fight. 

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‘UFC on FUEL 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi’ Aftermath — Hype Trains and Hipbones


Eh, still more exciting than the Rocky musical. Photo courtesy of Josh Hedges/Getty Images.

Let’s start off by stating the obvious: The last-minute main event of yesterday’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 was an anti-climactic ending to an otherwise gratifying afternoon of sanctioned violence. As hard as we tried to convince ourselves that Swedish prospect Ilir Latifi could be an interesting opponent for highly-regarded Strikeforce import Gegard Mousasi, the actual fight was completely unspectacular. This isn’t to say that either fighter deserves criticism for his performance, but rather, that this sort of thing will happen when a guy who earned a UFC contract by virtue of being willing to replace his injured training partner headlines an event on four days’ notice.

Despite walking out to the Rocky theme, it immediately became clear that a Balboa-esque upset – or even a Wepnerian display of resilience – was not in store for Latifi (though the cuts on his face were vintage Chuck Wepner). Latifi was completely incapable of avoiding Mousasi’s jab, which prevented him from getting close enough to The Dreamcatcher to actually put his wrestling prowess to use. As carefree as Mousasi looked – did he even blink during those rare occasions when Latifi landed punches? – he was in complete control throughout the bout, jabbing his way to a unanimous decision victory.

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UFC on Fuel TV 9 Video Party


(UFC on Fuel 9 Main Event, Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi via Fox Sports)

Despite Alexander Gustafsson’s best efforts, yesterday’s UFC event in Stockholm did indeed take place and we’ve got highlights of some of the better fights of the night, along with the post-event press conference and a dope fight day blog from Conor McGregor.

Matt Mitrione vs. Phil De Fries:

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UFC on FUEL 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi — Live Results and Commentary


(Well I hope you’re happy, Wanderlei.)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to our liveblog for UFC on FUEL TV 9 — or as we like to call it, “The event that Alexander Gustafsson’s eyebrow murdered.” Luckily it’s free, and there are still enough decent scraps on the card to make up for the utter randomness of the headliner, including Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture, Matt Mitrione vs. Philip De Fries, and Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza.

Heading up today’s play-by-play is George Shunick, who will be sticking live results from the “Mousasi vs. Latifi” main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest, and please throw down your own thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for being here. We definitely owe you one.

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‘UFC on FUEL 9 Mousasi vs. Gustafsson(‘s Friend)’ Weigh-In Results and Video

The weigh-ins for UFC on FUEL 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi went down earlier today from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Featuring several heated staredowns, Tom Lawlor selling wolf tickets, and the lovely Karyn Bryant, check out the full video of the weigh-ins above and the results below.

MAIN CARD (FUEL TV, 2 p.m. ET)
-Ilir Latifi (206) vs. Gegard Mousasi (204)
-Ryan Couture (154) vs. Ross Pearson (155)
-Philip De Fries (248) vs. Matt Mitrione (259)
-Mike Easton (135) vs. Brad Pickett (135)
-Diego Brandao (145) vs. Pablo Garza (146)
-Akira Corassani (145) vs. Robert Peralta (146)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 10:30 a.m. ET)
-Michael Johnson (155) vs. Reza Madadi (155)
-Adam Cella (184) vs. Tor Troeng (185)
-Adlan Amagov (170) vs. Chris Spang (170)
-Marcus Brimage (145) vs. Conor McGregor (145)
-Ben Alloway (170) vs. Ryan LaFlare (171)
-Michael Kuiper (186) vs. Tom Lawlor (185)
-Papy Abedi (170) vs. Besam Yousef (168)

-J. Jones

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[VIDEOS] Get to Know UFC on FUEL 9 Headliner Ilir Latifi a Little Better (Or At All) in This Awesome Documentary


(Part 1 via Katla Studios. Parts 2 and 3 are after the jump.) 

Depending who you ask, the man stepping in on just days’ notice to face Gegard Mousasi at this weekend’s UFC on FUEL 9 event is either named Illi Latifi, Illiar Latifa, Iliir Latifa, or Alexander Gustafsson’s soon-to-be-deceased training partner. At just 7-2 (with notable victories over ______ and _____) the oddsmakers are giving Latifi about as good a chance of beating Mousasi as my birth mother gave me at life — but I survived that abortion, dammit. However, if word of mouth is any indication, it appears that we all might be sleeping on the unknown Swede. For further proof of this, just ask CP reader dumbasses, who chastised us/praised Latifi in our original post while simultaneously misspelling his name. Classic CagePotato, amiright?

Anyway, it turns out that this Latifi feller is a legitimate wrestler — a former national champion, actually — who could really pose some threats to grappling-deficient Mousasi. So to help familiarize you all with the soft-spoken Swede on the eve(ish) of his event-headlining UFC debut, we’ve posted a trio of videos documenting everything from Latifi’s quiet beginnings to his May 2012 victory over WEC veteran Tony Lopez.

As far as fighter docs go, it’s a pretty damn entertaining one — painting Latifi as an intelligent, hard-working, and overall humble guy — so check out episodes 2 and 3 of the documentary after the jump and let us know in the comments section if you give him any better of a chance than you previously did. Or use it as a platform to continue arguing about the merits of dick-tucking vs. full on sex changes in relation to an MMA fighter’s chances in a given fight. See if I care.

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Photos of the Day: Alexander Gustafsson Heals Like Wolverine, Apparently


(“Tell me, was it regular print or construction paper that was responsible for that boo-boo?” – Martin Kampmann’s axe wound.) 

After being forced out of his fight with Gegard Mousasi at this weekend’s UFC on FUEL 9 event (a fight that would have earned him a shot at Jon Jones had he won) yesterday, light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson released a photo of the cut in question earlier today, along with following statement explaining what exactly caused it (via MMAnytt):

During Thursday’s (March 28) passes as we ran wrestling exercises I lost my balance and pitched eyebrow in a very unfortunate way when I hit my head on one burpelaren. Immediately after it happened, I went to the hospital and sewed three stitches. I was quite prepared to compete until the doctors called and told me that cut is unfortunate and will not have time to heal in time until the gala.

It is of course extremely sad when träningscampet has gone very well. In addition to the eyebrow, I am in my best form and completely ready for the match. It is also sad for my opponent, Gegard Mousasi, who has also been training long and hard for this match.

I and my team have done everything we can to get set up and race despite the injury, but the decision is unfortunately not in our hands. I am extremely sorry for this and I feel with Gegard Mousasi. I also suffer with the fans who have been looking forward to this event and this match. Would also like to thank my entire team who have helped and supported me all the way. The next step now is that I sit down with the team and planning the future. 

As you know, Gustafsson was eventually replaced by training partner Ikea Laticifer (or something like that), which would be fine and all, had Dana White not tweeted this photo of Gustafsson just hours ago…

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Ilir Latifi to Sub In for Alexander Gustafsson Against Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel TV 9


I can’t help but feel I’ve seen this picture before… (Image via adccbarcelona.com)

It has only been a few hours since we learned that Alexander Gustafsson was officially forced out of the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9 due to a gash in his eyebrow, yet the UFC has already announced who Gegard Mousasi’s new opponent will be. No, it won’t be Wanderlei Silva. No, it won’t be Tom Lawlor, either. I know, I’m just as disappointed as you are.

Instead, Dana White took to his Twitter account to announce that UFC newcomer Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi will be fighting Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9. Via Twitter:

Not to be a pessimist, but when your boss misspells your name while announcing that you’ll be fighting a UFC-ranked Top Ten light-heavyweight, things aren’t exactly looking good for you.

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Alexander Gustafsson Officially Out of UFC on FUEL 9, Replacement is Definitely Not Wanderlei Silva. Probably.


(If you ask us, it looks like someone is just ducking Kimbo. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting. ) 

Put the rumors, hearsay, and outright troll jobs to rest; Alexander Gustafsson will not be fighting Gegard Mousasi this Saturday at UFC on FUEL 9. The Swede, who received a cut in training a few days back, was scheduled to undergo a second pre-fight exam earlier today to determine whether or not he would be cleared to face Mousasi. And unfortunately, the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation just passed along the news (via MMAFighting) that Gustafsson’s cut was simply too severe to allow him to fight on the 6th:

The SMMAF Medical Committee has today reviewed the circumstances regarding Gustafsson and his injury. The SMMAF Medical Committee recognizes that a competitor cannot be medically cleared earlier than the day before the match. However, bearing in mind that a correct medical examination that met the regulatory demands has been performed, nothing in the SMMAF regulations hinders the SMMAF Medical Committee from making a decision to stop Gustafsson from competing. As it is clear that Alexander Gustafsson will not be fit to compete as planned and cannot be medically cleared on Friday the 5th of April, the SMMAF Medical Committee has today decided that Alexander Gustafsson will not be allowed to participate in the planned match on April 6th. 

It looks like Gustafsson’s future title aspirations will have to be put on hold for the moment.

We will update you as soon as we learn of Gustafsson’s replacement, although Wikipedia has currently pegged none other than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the man to step up in Gustafsson’s absence. Should be a good scrap, but considering how garbage-ass the rest of the card is, the UFC might also want to consider forcing Wanderlei Silva to make good on his promises.

After the jump: A video of Gustafsson wrecking Jared Hamman in his UFC debut, because something good needs to come out of this news.

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