UFC on FUEL TV 9 Post-Fight Wrap Up

Gegard MousasiThe UFC on FUEL TV 9 event is in the books from Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation stepping in to cancel the main event between hometown hero Alexander Gustafsson and Strikeforce import Gegard Mousasi was well-documented throughout the week, and ended up overshadowing much of the event itself. Instead, Mousasi faced late signee Ilir Latifi in a match that saw the sportsbooks heavily favor Mousasi even in spite of some late action on the unknown late replacement. The original lean the books had would not be wrong, while all Latifi’s backers did was take Mousasi from an unplayable line to something that could help out a parlay, as he closed at -710 at Several Bookmakers from the original -2000 opener. Mousasi always has one of the most calm demeanors in MMA, but in this fight he needed to take Latifi out and his self-admitted hesitance to do so is not going to endear him to fans. Latifi deserves loads of credit for his toughness and for taking the fight on short notice, but it was clear that he was severely outclassed by Mousasi. Mousasi won a comfortable decision but he never put the pedal to the metal and tried to finish the fight. The co-main event featured Ryan Couture against Ross Pearson. Couture was the underdog at the sportsbooks, and he looked good early, using smothering tactics in the clinches to neutralize and frustrate Pearson. In the second round, Couture appeared to slow down a bit, and Pearson was able to keep the fight at distance and start to land. Couture started getting hit more and more, until eventually Person dropped him and got the stoppage. Pearson, who closed as a -340 favorite, stretched his record as a UFC Lightweight to 6-2, while Couture dropped his UFC debut and it will be interesting to see if he gets another fight in the organization. In Heavyweight action, Matt Mitrione took less than twenty seconds to flatten Philip De Fries. Mitrione ended the evening as a -250 favorite, and snapped a two-fight losing streak emphatically and solidified his spot in the UFC for the time being. Look for De Fries to be at risk of getting cut from the UFC roster as he was not able to show anything off and has dropped two in a row and three of his last four outings. All of those losses have been via KO inside the first round, and his only UFC wins have come against fellow Brits who are no longer with the promotion. The bout many fans considered to be not only the best on paper but the best in terms of action was the Bantamweight contest between Brit Brad Pickett and Mike Easton. Pickett closed as just a -145 favorite and the bout reflected the odds, as he won a split decision in a bout that encompassed every aspect of MMA and saw both men earn a $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus for their efforts. In typical Pickett fashion, he fought an entertaining, tough fight but he will need to string together a few wins to escape his current position as the gatekeeper to Bantamweight title shots. UFC events are often judged and either remembered or forgotten based on their main events. So with a cancelled and restructured main event combined with a 2pm EST/11am PST start due to the time difference in Sweden, this was a lukewarm UFC at best. Gegard Mousasi is likely the only fighter on the card who can affect the title picture in his division in the near future, with Brad Pickett perhaps having a chance to do the same down the road. Luckily for both fans and the UFC itself, there is The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale coming up next weekend, which hopefully won’t go through as much turmoil.

Written by Miguel

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