It’s official: Alexander Gustafsson has been pulled from big hometown event this weekend. The Swedish MMA Federation made it official with an interestingly worded announcement.
“In the case of Alexander Gustafsson there was a request for an early indicative medical examination which was immediately performed on March 30th (Easter Eve). The federation doctors that performed the examination informed Gustafsson that his injury was of such a nature that it was very unlikely that he would be medically cleared for a match in the near future. These doctors did not have a mandate to stop the match at the time of that examination.
“The SMMAF Medical Committee has today reviewed the circumstances regarding Gustafsson and his injury,” the statement continued. “The SMMAF Medical Committee recognizes that a competitor cannot be medically cleared earlier than the day before the match. However, bearing in mind that a correct medical examination that met the regulatory demands has been performed, nothing in the SMMAF regulations hinders the SMMAF Medical Committee from making a decision to stop Gustafsson from competing. As it is clear that Alexander Gustafsson will not be fit to compete as planned and cannot be medically cleared on Friday the 5th of April, the SMMAF Medical Committee has today decided that Alexander Gustafsson will not be allowed to participate in the planned match on April 6th.”
So the doctors checked him out and would have said “No way in hell” except they’re technically not allowed to take a fighter out. And while the SMMAF isn’t allowed to ‘clear’ a fighter until the day before the fight, there’s nothing in their rulebook that stops them from making a decision to stop the fight from happening. Sounds like either Gustafsson or the UFC were working all their angles trying to squeak Alex through and the SMMAF had to creatively interpret their own rules to pull the plug on the fight.
Now the big question is who (if anyone) will fill in? As many kinda figured, Wanderlei Silva was just fucking with us April Fools style when he said he was gonna step up and fight Mousasi, leaving us with nobody in the wings to save this fight. In a dream world, someone like Jimi Manuwa, Thiago Silva, Igor Pokrajac, or Rafael Cavalcante would step in to fill the void. But since the UFC lost their ability to convince guys to step in on short notice sometime between 2011 and 2012, the most likely option is scrapping the fight all together. As for those UFC Sweden fans, may I remind them that Card is Subject to Change.