Will or won’t Alexander Gustafsson fight Gegard Mousasi at ‘UFC On Fuel TV 9’ this weekend? At this stage a decision hasn’t been made on whether the Swedish fighter’s cut will keep him out of the event’s headliner, but if you were caught out by some of the April Fools pranks doing the rounds yesterday then you might not have realized that was the case.
For instance, Wanderlei Silva caught several MMA media sources, both in Brazil and abroad, out when he claimed that he would be stepping in to fight Gustafsson at short notice. His posts on Twitter were so convincing that even Mousasi wrote to him to let him know that it’d be “an honor” to step into the Octagon against the legendary fighter.
Silva later confessed to the prank, but he wasn’t the only one who had the idea. Former Strikeforce star Tim Kennedy claimed that he was en-route to Sweden to fight Mousasi, only to let the cat out of the bag later that it wasn’t true and that his first fight in the Octagon would in fact be against Roger Gracie.
Meanwhile, John Alessio had the bright idea of pretending that his teammate Ryan Couture had also picked up an injury and that he’d be heading to Sweden to compete against Ross Pearson instead. He too later confessed that it was just a wind-up on his part.
While the pranksters seemed to find all this hilarious, I have a feeling the UFC were probably less happy at the confusion that arose from all these false reports about the event at a time when they are still trying to get over the message that the originally scheduled fight could still go ahead.
There’s been somewhat of a backlash from others who were caught up in the pranks too. A disgruntled Mousasi branded Silva the “idiot of the year” while TATAME journalist Guiherme Cruz who’d reported that Silva Vs Mousasi was set after getting personal assurances from the Brazilian that it was true, later came and said that the prank was “lame” and unprofessional.
I have some sympathy with what they are saying, though you’ll note that none of these stories were reported on https://mmainsight.com as we weren’t going to run with the news without official confirmation given what day of the year it was.
So what is the actual situation at this moment in time?
Reports from Sweden suggest that Gustafsson will undergo a medical today and the doctor’s could rule at that stage that he’s not fit to fight. So far the UFC has stayed quiet on the matter so there’s no indication of whether they have a plan B or not if this is the case.