Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson, who suffered a cut back on March 30 that was serious enough to jeopardize his fight against Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9, has been ruled medically unfit to compete in this Saturday's (April 6, 2013) headliner at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting confirmed the news with George Sallfeldt, president of the Swedish MMA Federation, earlier today.
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's likely the promotion is already in the process of securing a replacement for "The Mauler," unless it wants to explain to Swedish fight fans how Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture became their new main event. That's not a knock on the two lightweights; however, the UFC on FUEL TV 9 fight card was built around Gustafsson's hometown popularity.
You know the old expression about eggs and baskets.
In any event, today's news should come as yet another blow to Mousasi, who's been jerked around the past couple of days from reports of cancellations, potential fill-ins and April Fool's Day pranks. Part of that blame falls on UFC President Dana White, who remained blase throughout the entire ordeal.
Playing hardball with the media is one thing, but it shouldn't come at the expense of ticket holders or the participating fighters. The best thing UFC matchmakers can do at this point is unveil a blockbuster replacement for the injured Swede and go on to deliver an exciting night of fights.
Hey, it's MMA, anything can happen.