Swedish AC facing internal review over Gustafsson fight ban

Sunday, April 07, 2013

The regulating body for MMA in Sweden, the Swedish MMA Federatio, received crticism, perhaps most notably from UFC president Dana White, for refusing to allow Alexander Gustafsson to fight Gegard Mousasi in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on FUEL 9.

This is the cut that prompted the ban:

But this is what Gustafsson looked like days before the fight:

Now medical procedures at the Swedish MMA Federation are under review, as reported by Gareth A Davies.

The Swedish MMA federation’s medical committee had chosen at midnight last Tuesday to inform Gustafsson that he was ineligible to fight because of concerns about a gash in his left eyelid, sustained in training a week earlier, which had required four stitches.

Normal practice would have been to wait until the medical checks three days later, after the weigh-ins, on the Friday.

By Wednesday last week, Gustafsson had had the four stitches removed, the cut had closed up, and he was ready to fight.

Gustafsson himself, keen to fight against former Strikeforce 205lbs champion Gegard Mousasi, branded the process “a circus”.

In fairness, his team cannot be blameless in the process, having “declared” the injury to the Swedish MMA federation.

George Sallfeldt, president of the Swedish MMA federation, told Telegraph Sport after the event: “We will be looking into the situation that happened, and the way it happened. We’ll be asking the medical committee how they arrived at their decision [on the Tuesday night] and why it was made when it was.”

But he added: “It someone contacts the federation it is difficult to do anything different to what happened. But I have to say that this situation has never happened before.”

Sallfeldt had consistently defended his panel’s decision last week, falling back on an insistence that combat sports in Sweden are governed by law, and that he was powerless to overrule it.

White told me: “I don’t want to come out and bash these guys, but they did a horrible job of this. We know Sweden has great fans, and we really like this market, but it really wasn’t good what happened.”

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