It’s a game of he-said-they-said.
Following reports that Alexander Gustafsson sustained a cut on his head, which gave a leading Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF) official doubt that the fighter will be able to compete on Saturday, Wanderlei Silva said Monday that he will step in to fight Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in Stockholm, Sweden.
GracieMag.com confirmed with Silva directly that he will step in for Gustafsson in the main event of this weekend’s card.
“Yes,” Silva responded by text message when asked if he is indeed fighting Mousasi at the Fuel TV event.
UFC officials, however, subsequently told GracieMag.com that a main event between Gustafsson and Mousasi is “still the plan,” but were unclear about Silva being a potential replacement.
Mousasi went to Twitter to say that, if true, he accepts the fight with Silva and would meet him in the Octagon.
“It’s an honor for me,” Mousasi posted on the website. “Much respect for you.”
Doubt of Gustafsson’s participation in this coming Saturday’s card began Sunday. Reports from Swedish media outlets citing SMMAF President George Sallfeldt said the official is “99 percent” sure the fighter won’t be cleared to compete.
GracieMag.com will have more news about the main event when more information becomes available.
UPDATE: 9:19 a.m. PT
Silva went to Twitter on Tuesday morning to reveal that his comments regarding his replacement of Gustafsson for UFC on Fuel TV 9 was an April Fool’s joke.
Mousasi was not amused by the prank, also going to Twitter to express his displeasure.