The UFC on FUEL TV 9 card scheduled for April 6th has potentially lost it’s main event of Alexander Gustafsson and Gegard Mousasi, as Gustafsson suffered a cut to the eyebrow in training and is likely out of the fight. No word on a late replacement is out yet, but pushing Mousasi’s debut would be unfortunate. The fact is that the show was sold out very shortly after tickets went on sale, and losing their Swedish headliner is surely the last thing the UFC wanted, but cancelling the fight would be worse. The fight between Mousasi and Gustafsson potentially could have seen the winner catapulted into title contention. Are there any options out there?
Should the match occur, it will be interesting to see if action comes in on Mousasi. Gustafsson was coming in at more than a 2 to 1 favorite at most of the books, but Mousasi is a lethal striker who could re-open a wound that is still healing. Gustafsson has been told by doctors not to fight, and apparently there is a board or committee in Sweden that has the final deciding word on whether the fight goes down.
The UFC has no real good options when it comes to making a match in less than a week, circumstances will inevitably be far from perfect. This is not one of the UFC’s star laden offerings either, the card’s strong suit was it’s main event, with solid mid tier fights in support of the big fight. Let’s assume the UFC learned from cancelling a how last year that that is not good for business and that this show will go on. Who could take on Mousasi on short notice?
Though Glover Teixeira is booked for a UFC fight in May, he is 20-2 and still hungry for recognition. If his training is not off, he could make a main event level fight with Mousasi, and his opponent, James Te Huna, is nowhere near the name of Mousasi, so Teixeira could bite. Forrest Griffin would have done it a few years ago.
Then there is the inevitable scrap heap of 185 lbers who could fight at 205 lbs, such as Chris Leben, Would Vitor Belfort do it again (for the right money he probably would)?
There is no real talent in Europe of Mousasi’s caliber that could just jump into a UFC fight, so it will have to be a recycle from somewhere. The UFC has to come up with something that is not a cancellation, so let’s see what Dana White pulls out of his bag of tricks.