Irony: Why Wanderlei Silva Is the Only Opponent That Makes Sense for Mousasi

Matt JuulContributor IIIApril 2, 2013

Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram

It was only supposed to be an April Fools' Day prank, but with Alexander Gustafsson officially out of Saturday's bout, there are few other opponents out there for Gegard Mousasi to face other than Wanderlei Silva.

As many of you already know, the former Pride champ and UFC legend fooled the entire MMA community when he jokingly tweeted on Monday that he had been contacted as a short notice replacement to headline this weekend's UFC on Fuel event in Sweden.

While Silva admitted on Tuesday that the tweet was just a prank, the lack of available light heavyweight competition makes "The Axe Murderer" an unlikely yet realistic option that the UFC could tap should no other 205ers step up.

And if you take a step back from all the April Fools' nonsense, it makes a lot of sense.

Other than former champ Lyoto Machida (who will likely wait for his shot at the title), every other top 10 light heavyweight is either already booked or sidelined with an injury.

The same goes for most of the UFC's contingent of mid-tier 205ers as well.

The promotion could pull a name off an upcoming card like Phil Davis or Ovince St-Preux, both of whom are set to fight later this month at UFC 159, but shaking up that card could pose a problem in itself.

Who knows if either fighter, or any other light heavyweight for that matter, is willing to take on a dangerous guy like Mousasi on just four days notice. Not to mention, what happens to their original opponents should they decide to fight in Sweden instead?

Silva may have meant his tweet to be a joke, but by putting his name on everybody's mind (more akin to a headache for the MMA media), he inadvertently became the best available option to replace the injured Gustafsson.

Other than any weight cutting issues, there really shouldn't be any problems for "The Axe Murderer" taking this bout since his recent win over Brian Stann left him relatively unscathed. 

If Silva wants to redeem himself with the majority of the MMA community, then, in the words of the great Woody Harrelson, "It's time to nut up or shut up."

Be sure to like me on Facebook or follow @MattchidaMMA