Opinion: Alexander Gustafsson Might Need to Alter Training Habits
By Michael Hatamoto
Alexander Gustafsson won’t be able to compete against Gegard Mousasi in their scheduled matchup of UFC on Fuel 9 on Saturday night, as the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) didn’t license Gustafsson due to a cut.
It’s rumored that Gustafsson was sparring with regular MMA gloves – without headgear – and that is when he suffered a cut, according to people inside his camp.
Though some published reports indicated the cut happened during live sparring, Gustafsson told MMA reporters that they “were wrestling” and “pummeling arms.”
Here is what UFC President Dana White noted via Twitter:
This pic was taken of Gustafsson today and u can’t even see the cut!!! Worst decision I have EVER seen to pull fight twitter.com/danawhite/stat…
— Dana White (@danawhite) April 3, 2013
The sport of MMA has drastically evolved, and fighter training also continues to mature at a rapid pace. Each camp is different leading up to a fight, but the last 10 days of training camp are typically used to wind things down and relax before fight week – including travel preparations, media obligations, and cutting weight.
To make matters even worse for the UFC, Gustafsson vs. Mousasi was the only scheduled light heavyweight matchup – and being in Sweden drastically reduced the immediate availability of a last-minute stand-in.
It’s a shame to see a main event fighter such as Gustafsson – competing on cable TV and in front of his home country – end up out of a fight due to a cut, but that’s just how it worked out. I thought Gustafsson vs. Mousasi would have been a very enjoyable fight, providing a true glimpse of Gustafsson’s long-term potential as a European MMA superstar.