UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi will replace Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC on Fuel TV 9 main event, according to UFC President Dana White, who announced the update Tuesday evening on Twitter.
Latifi is now set to face former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi at Saturday’s event, which takes place at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. The booking comes just hours after the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation Medical Committee announced that Gustafsson would not be cleared to compete due to a facial laceration.
UFC on Fuel TV 9 also features a lightweight showdown between Ryan Couture and Ross Pearson, as well as a heavyweight confrontation pitting Matt Mitrione against Philip De Fries.
Latifi, 29, rides a three-fight winning streak into his short-notice confrontation with Mousasi. The Swede went a perfect 3-0 last year, notching back-to-back wins under the United Glory banner before outpointing World Extreme Cagefighting vet Jorge Oliveira on Oct. 6 at Superior Challenge 6. Known as “The Sledgehammer,” Latifi has stopped five of his seven victims inside the distance and has been knocked out just once in his near five-year pro career.