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Tag: UFC on Fuel 9

[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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Wanderlei Silva Confirms That Gegard Mousasi Fight Rumor Was an April Fool’s Joke. We Think. It’s Kind of Hard to Tell.


(Wandy’s Trollshades increase his AprilFoolpower by a magnitude of eleventy bazillian. / Photo via Wandy’s FB fan page)

At some point, April Fool’s Day became less about playing elaborate pranks to humiliate your loved ones, and more about just lying to people all day. Nobody puts in the effort anymore. Announcing that your girlfriend/wife is pregnant on Facebook? Yeah, that’s not funny at all. (Side note: @Karmaatemycat gets a pass for doing this yesterday, because the idea of Jefferey Watts as a father is so terrifying that it actually made me hold my face in my hands for about 20 seconds.)

The MMA fighter equivalent of announcing a fake pregnancy is announcing a fake fight or retirement. Tim Kennedy did it. John Alessio did it. Louis Gaudinot did it. The idea is, these statements are believable enough to be true. But in the grand scheme of things, does anybody really give a fuck if John Alessio is coming in to replace Ryan Couture on Saturday? I hate to rag on a guy who we otherwise have so much respect for, but I’m just saying, it’s not a joke, it’s a lie, and making up lies about yourself to trick people is both uncreative and kind of egotistical. As our bro Vince puts it, “Getting me to believe something plausible but untrue is not a ‘prank.’ If that’s a prank, then man have I pranked some women and prospective employers, hoo boy.”

If you make your living on Internet like we do, April Fool’s Day has easily become the worst day of the year. (A close second? April 15th, aka, the Day of Great Reckoning.) Everybody’s a yukster, and you can’t believe a word you read, even if its true. So when Wanderlei Silva announced that the UFC approached him to replace Alexander Gustafsson against Gegard Mousasi on short notice for UFC on FUEL 9, we didn’t know what to think. I mean, we first dismissed it as bullshit — partially on the advice of Dana White himself — but Silva didn’t break character. He kept his story going. And going.

The biggest difference between Wanderlei’s possibly-fake fight announcement and all the others, is that Wandy actually reached out to media. He confirmed his story with MMAWeekly’s Ken Pishna. Then, he gave a rather entertaining interview to Tatame where he had this to say:

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Alexander Gustafsson Suffers Facial Cut in Training, UFC on FUEL 9 Headliner in Jeopardy


(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.

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Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Was Reportedly Too Hardcore for the Swedes


(She’s a witch! Burn her! BURRRRRRN HERRRRRRRRRRR!!! / Photo via Fight! Magazine)

So here’s a weird little tidbit: The UFC’s next women’s bantamweight fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano was originally supposed to serve as the co-main event for UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi (April 6th; Stockholm, Sweden), but it was reportedly sunk due to political concerns, and the matchup was moved to the TUF 17 Finale. After Ariel Helwani first mentioned the date-switch, Fighters Only followed up with more details:

The fight was pulled because it was felt by Garry Cook, the UFC VP in charge of UK and European operations, that it wasn’t suited to the Swedish audience.

Sweden is a new market and there is still some considerable opposition to the UFC among that infamously liberal and ‘progressive’ nation’s press. Politically it is a very left-wing country and it was only in 2007 that a 1970 ban on professional boxing was lifted.

Alexander Gustafsson has spearheaded the charge into what has proven to be an unexpectedly lucrative market for the UFC, but the potential for the national press to dislike or misinterpret a women’s fight was felt to be too high to risk.

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Alexander Gustafsson to Receive Title Shot With Win Over Gegard Mousasi; Henderson/Machida Remain on UFC’s Pay-No-Mind List


(“I would consider it an honor to fight a great champion like Chael Sonnen. LOL, just kidding.” Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Not that reports like this are ever worth a damn, but in accordance with the current mood of UFC President Dana White, Swedish light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson will receive a title shot if he can beat Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9, April 6th in Stockholm.

If Mousasi beats Gustafsson, he skyrockets right to the top of that division,” White said today in London. “And as far as Gustafsson goes, if he beats Mousasi in that fight, he’s in line for a title shot. This is a big fight for both of those guys.”

This, of course, is an old trick — pumping up a non-title-fight main event by declaring that it has title fight “implications.” But the UFC could very likely stick to their word this time, if for no other reason than to further punish Dan Henderson for his role in sinking UFC 151 and Lyoto Machida for refusing a title shot at UFC 152. Those two poor saps will be playing second-fiddle to a couple of broads in ten days at UFC 157.

Gustafsson has won his last six fights, which ties him for #4 on the list of longest current UFC win streaks. Would a seventh win against Mousasi convince you that he’d be a threat to Bones?

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Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza Joins ‘UFC on FUEL 9′ Along With Two Other Fights


(Only Brandao can make a mouthful of Tropical Skittles seem so Goddamn intimidating. Photo via MMAWeekly.) 

A plethora of fights have recently been announced for the UFC’s return to Sweden on April 6th, starting with a featherweight scrap that is all but guaranteed to deliver some high-level thrills. Since winning the TUF 14 plaque back in December of 2011 following a dominant run on the show, Diego Brandao has gone just 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in his sophomore appearance at UFC 146 before scoring a UD win of his own over Joey Gambino at UFC 153. For his next appearance, the 5’7″ Brazilian will be forced to somehow negate the distance created by 6’1″ Pablo Garza, who recently bounced back from a two-fight losing streak (including a UD loss to TUF 14 runner-up Dennis Bermudez) by retiring Mark Hominick at UFC 154. 

These subtle Cake references doing anything for you guys? OK, I’ll stop.

Although Garza hinted at a drop to 135 following his win over Hominick, it appears as if he will be looking to build a little momentum at featherweight before doing so. That, or Garza came to realization that he already resembles Brian Robeson at the end of Hatchet come fight night and dropping another ten pounds would likely kill him.

Also on par for UFC on FUEL 9 is a lightweight pairing between Reza Madadi (1-1 UFC) and TUF 12 runner-up Michael Johnson (4-3 UFC), both of whom are coming off losses at UFC 153 and UFC 155, respectively. Middleweights Tom Lawlor and Michael Kuiper will also meet at the event. Lawlor most recently dropped a controversial decision (controversial meaning “bullshit” in this case) to the highly-touted Francis Carmont at UFC 154, whereas Kuiper last scored a second round TKO over Jared Hamman at UFC 150. 

The full lineup for UFC on FUEL 9 is after the jump.

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Ryan Couture Reportedly Gets First UFC Fight Scheduled


(Party’s over, Ryan. Time to get back to work)

It didn’t take long for new UFC lightweight Ryan Couture to get his first bout with the organization booked, and it won’t be an easy one. According to Sherdog.com, the former Strikeforce fighter will put his four-fight win streak on the line against Ultimate Fighter Season 9 winner Ross Pearson on the UFC on FUEL 9 card, taking place in Sweden on April 6th.

Pearson is coming off of a TKO win against fellow TUF Australia vs. the U.K. coach George Sotiropoulos last December. Couture last fought and won last month in Strikeforce’s final event against KJ Noons.

Fans have wondered what type of opponent Couture would get since his signing with the UFC was announced last week around the same time his father, retired champion Randy Couture, and the organization acrimoniously split when he signed with competitors Spike and Bellator.

As is usually the case with UFC matchmaking, Couture is certainly getting a stiff challenge in the much more experienced Pearson, but he’s also getting a huge opportunity. With his experience and quality of opponents Pearson may be the favorite in this fight, but it is certainly a winnable contest for the younger Couture.

Should Ryan beat Pearson, he’d immediately make himself known as a major player in the UFC’s lightweight division. How do you see the fight, nation? And is this a reasonable first UFC bout for Couture?

- Elias Cepeda

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