Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi to headline UFC on FUEL TV 9

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Dana White ‏@danawhite
Mousasi will face Iliir Latifa (sic) this Saturday live on @FUELTV Latifa is from Sweden and training partner of Gustafsson.

When Alexander Gustafsson was declared ineligible to fight by the regulating body in Sweden, due to a cut sustained in training, the UFC had to find a replacement in the UFC On Fuel TV 9 main event and quickly.

They found him.

Albanian-born Iliir ‘The Sledgehammer’ Latifi is 7-2 and currently enjoying a three fight win streak. Last guy to beat him was Emanuel Newton, who recently KOed King Mo, so Latifi can hang with solid competition.

He is a former Swedish national wrestling team wrestler and 2005 winner of the ADCC European Trials, which means his skillset should match up well with that of Mousasi, who is not known as a wrestler.

“It was an opportunity, what can I say?” Latifi today told MMAjunkie.com. “Stepping in the octagon against the best fighters is not (an opportunity) given every day. It’s an opportunity you can’t say no to.”

“For me, it’s impossible to fill Alex’s place. He’s a great fighter, and he needed to be here. But I’m going to do my best.”

“I didn’t have a training camp like Mousasi did, but I hope the situation makes me ready. I’m hoping I can go in there and do what I do. I take it for what it is.

“Mousasi is a great fighter. He’s a top 10 fighter in the world. He’s a complete fighter, but I knew I could take the fight, and if I took it, I’d do a good job too.”

This is believed to be the first time in UFC history that the event headliner features two men neither of whom had ever competed in the UFC before.

Ilir Latifi Highlight:

FIGHTLIFE: Ilir Latifi documentary, parts I, II: (In Swedish, with English subttiles)