UFC President Dana White expressed his dissatisfaction with the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation on Wednesday in the wake of the regulatory body’s decision to pull Alexander Gustafsson from Saturday’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 headliner.
Gustafsson last Thursday sustained a cut that required three stitches, according to the fighter, who verified on his website that the injury occurred after he slipped during wrestling practice. Though the light heavyweight contender expressed his desire to compete in spite of the cut, the SMMAF Medical Committee ruled that the injury would not heal in time for the Swede to receive clearance to meet Gegard Mousasi on Saturday at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. Gustafsson later posted a picture of the cut, which was located below his left eyebrow but above the eyelid.
On Wednesday morning, White posted his own photo of the fighter after receiving stitches.
“This pic was taken of Gustafsson today, and [you] can’t even see the cut!!!” White wrote. “Worst decision I have EVER seen to pull [a] fight.”
Mousasi will instead square off with Gustafsson’s countryman, Ilir Latifi, who makes his UFC debut riding a three-fight winning streak. Following the SMMAF’s decision to pull him from the bout, Gustafsson issued an apology to his fans and Mousasi.
“It is of course extremely sad when [my] training camp has gone very well. Except for the eyebrow, I am in my best form and completely ready for the match. It is also sad for my opponent, Gegard Mousasi, who has also been training long and hard for this match,” Gustafsson wrote on his official website. “My team and I have done everything we can to get set up and compete despite the cut; it is unfortunately not in our hands anymore. I am extremely sorry for this, and I feel [for] Gegard Mousasi. The next step now is that I sit down with the team and [start] planning the future. Thanks again for all your support!”