- UFC on Fuel 9
Gustafsson not cleared to fight after cut
Alexander Gustafsson has not been cleared to fight at UFC on Fuel 9, after medics assessed a cut the Swede sustained in training.
Gustafsson was due to face Gegard Mousasi in the headline bout in Stockholm on Saturday, but doubts had been raised about the light-heavyweight's participation after he suffered a cut to his face during training for the bout.
UFC president Dana White had been confident that the fighter would be given the all-clear but, after being analysed on Tuesday by medics, the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF) Medical Committee announced that Gustafsson would not be cleared to fight Mousasi on Saturday.
"The SMMAF Medical Committee has today reviewed the circumstances regarding Gustafsson and his injury," a statement released on Tuesday read. "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."
The statement added: "The SMMAF Medical Committee recognises 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."
It remains to be seen how the UFC will respond to the setback, with little time to find a suitable replacement. Wanderlei Silva has been mentioned as a possibility, while the organisation could instead opt to delay the Gustafsson-Mousasi meeting for a later date and promote Ross Pearson's lightweight meeting with Ryan Couture to headline status.