After all, the card is "free" on Fuel TV.
But with Gustafsson officially benched due to a cut about his left eye, Mousasi is now in a risky situation, facing a virtual unknown in Swedish fighter Ilir Latifi, a 29-year-old prospect with just 10 total bouts on his professional MMA record.
As more people have voiced their displeasure to Dana White on Twitter, the UFC president has fired back at some of his detractors, apparently fed up with the feedback:
Even though Swedish website MMA NYTT had reported on March 31 that Gustafsson would likely not be medically cleared to fight, White spent April 1 re-assuring fans that "The Mauler" was still scheduled to meet Mousasi in Stockholm, Sweden.
Fans were left with nothing but confusion in the wake, even falling for an April Fools' Day prank by Wanderlei Silva, who claimed that the UFC asked him to step in on short notice. Many outlets reported Silva's statement, with even Mousasi saying that he would accept the fight.
Of course, the whole thing turned out to be a ruse.
According to Mousasi (via MMA Junkie), even former UFC champion Vitor Belfort was rumored at one point to be a potential candidate for a last-minute replacement, but that plan apparently never came to fruition.
Instead, the main event spot eventually wound up going to Latifi—Gustafsson's sparring partner at the Allstars Training Center.
Since none of the other bouts in the Fuel TV event were suitable as an alternate headliner, some MMA pundits have argued that the card is far less appealing without a "name" fighter like Gustafsson. That doesn't fly with White, who says there's little reason to complain:
Unless prominent MMA journalists fail to press the issue, White may have to field questions about how he handled the entire debacle during the remainder of fight week.
Overall, it's not unusual behavior for the bombastic and sharp-tongued UFC president, who often uses his Twitter account to interact with nearly 2.5 million followers. Over the years, Dana White hasn't been shy about frequently trading thoughts, opinions and insults with many of his fans—and UFC on Fuel 9 is no exception.
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