(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:
“I was surprised when I got a call from Joe Silva today, but what others see as adversity I see as opportunity. I’m ready and I’m actually closing my suitcase right now. My flight to Sweden departs tomorrow morning. I’m going to my gym tonight to hit some pads and tomorrow I’ll fly out to Sweden. I’m bringing Rafael Cordeiro, and maybe Fabrício Werdum with me. You know it was in the last minute.”
“I’m weighting 222,6 pounds and I’m already losing weight. I’ll work out tonight, but it will be easy to get down to 205. I’ve been doing this for the last 20 years, I’m used to it. I’m bumped, and don’t worry guys because this is not an April 1st fool. You can celebrate because daddy is in the house again.” [Ed. note: Awesome.]
“There are some crazy things that just Silva does. My last fight against (Brian) Stann was pretty tough, but I did very well. Can you imagine if I do it again? They will give me a crown down there. I have nothing to lose. Mousasi is a tough guy, he is great, and is the perfect profile for me. I don’t run away from good fights and I know that I’ll test myself to the extreme.”
For his part, Gegard Mousasi has been patient through this entire ordeal, operating under the assumption that he’s still fighting Gustafsson unless there’s an official announcement otherwise. On his charmingly unpolished twitter page, Mousasi responded to the Axe Murderer rumors yesterday evening: “hey mr Silva, if this is true and you are ready to fight me than I accept the fight, It’s an honor for me Much respect for you…at this moment I do not have any new info about my situation But if ufc want’s and mr @wandfc is ready for me than let’s Go!”
Alright, so here’s what Wanderlei posted on Instagram at about 9:50 a.m. ET today: “I catch you wand the best April first ever!! But I would like this to be true!!!”
You catch me? No, Wandy. You lied all day, and when the clock struck midnight and it wasn’t April Fool’s Day anymore, you kept lying, and after you had your morning acai smoothie today, you figured, hey, why not let the fans down easy with a silly photo?
DO YOU SEE ME SMILING? DO YOU SEE MOUSASI SMILING? GEGARD JUST AWARDED YOU IDIOOT OF THE YEAR 2013, JACKASS.
Ugh. Can we get rid of this stupid goddamned day already? CagePotato Ban: April Fool’s Day. There. Done.