Gegard Mousasi will make his Octagon debut against fellow UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Alexander Gustafsson looked to make his case as the top contender at 205 pounds, as he was scheduled to meet Gegard Mousasi on Saturday in Sweden. Following an injury to Gustafsson, Mousasi will now take on UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi.
Here is a closer look at the UFC on Fuel TV 9 lineup, with analysis and picks:
Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC on Fuel TV 9 Free Fan Pick’Em
Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Ilir Latifi (7-2, 0-0 UFC)
The Matchup: With no bouts in the UFC to his credit, Mousasi enters the contest as an unknown commodity to the casual fan. The former Dream and Strikeforce champion possesses a wealth of valuable experience, however, and his original placement in the bout against Gustafsson suggested that promotion officials recognized that he is among the best in his weight class.
Mousasi coasted to a first-round submission victory over Mike Kyle at Strikeforce’s final event in January. “The Dreamcatcher” had some inconsistent moments during the latter portion of his tenure with the now-defunct organization -- his draw with Keith Jardine stands out -- but his talent is undeniable.
Though mostly unknown to even hardcore fans, lots of footage is available on Mr. Latifi. Instead of educating yourself through replacement paragraphs filed minutes after the Swede was announced as Gustafsson's replacement, get enlightened with hours of fight footage, courtesy of YouTube.
The Pick: Mousasi has all the tools to win this fight, and will. Look for Mousasi to pour it on and score a second-round stoppage over the talented yet over-matched last minute replacement.
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