The owls were out in force across the MMA corners of the Internet Tuesday evening. That's around the time the UFC revealed Alexander Gustafsson's replacement in the main event of UFC on Fuel 9, going down Saturday from Stockholm, Sweden.
The replacement: Ilir Latifi.
And out came the owls. "Who?" they wailed. "WHOOOOO?!??!"
Few seemed familiar with Latifi. Actually, maybe no one was. Except, wait a second. What's that? Someone actually suggested Latifi as a possible replacement on Monday? Oh, wait, wait...was that...was that me? Bleacher Report slideshow writer Scott Harris? So it was.
Save your jokes about the blind squirrel finding the nut. I'd rather be a blind squirrel than an owl. Burn!
But seriously, there's no question Latifi is "flying under the radar"—to further my owl metaphor—of more than a few stateside fans. But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be an easy out for Gegard Mousasi Saturday night, especially given that Mousasi is also making his UFC debut. There's also the small matter of fact that Latifi, who is very popular in his native Sweden, will be enjoying some home cooking, which, if Ikea has taught me anything at all, is meatballs.
Here are five slides to help you get acquainted with the UFC's newest main eventer.