It was just over a year ago when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that all FX and FUEL TV main events would be upgraded to five rounds, even if there was no title on the line.
You can thank the barnburner between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger for that.
That's all well and good when the promotion stages its events stateside, or in foreign territories where it acts as its own commission. But things can get a little dicey when you start to expand outside the usual channels, as White and Co. found out when they started talking turkey with the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF).
The union wrote in its application that the match should go between two established, experienced and highly qualified MMA practitioners who are so skilled that they are approaching the level of world title fights.
Against this background and taking into account that there are two practitioners who are at the world level, approves Martial Arts Delegation one game on 25 minutes. The decision was not unanimous. The delegation's Medical expert neurologist doctor Bjorn Lindvall at the University Hospital in Orebro, are dissenting. The actual decision on the CAB website.
It's important to note that the SMMAF has not changed its position on head trauma and this ruling should be considered the exception, not the rule.
That means future non-title headliners will still be relegated to three rounds, but because of the skill level and experience of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi (more on that fight here), who are both top title contenders at 205-pounds, the SMMAF has granted an extra pair of rounds for the April 6 main event at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
The question is, will these two even need them?