As we found out yesterday, Ilir Latifi will be taking the main event slot for Alexander Gustaffson and will be fighting Gegard Mousasi in Sweden. It’s very professional of Mousasi to take on this fight to save the card. Every once in a while though, short notice fights can blow up in a fighter’s face.
There are fighters who have declined to accept short notice fights, such as Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida. We understand from a business standpoint why Dana White would be upset if they decline to step up for a fight. From a fighter’s standpoint though, it makes sense to question if taking a short notice fight is beneficial to you in the long run.
Jon Jones refused to take a short notice fight with Chael Sonnen to help save UFC 151. We know that this discussion has been brought up many times. Some say that he should of taken the fight and some think he did the right thing. In the long run, Jones made the decision that he believed was best, regardless of what the media and fans thought.
The funny thing is, Jones must’ve forgotten how he won his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. By accepting that fight on short notice he won the belt by defeating Mauricio ” Shogun” Rua by TKO in the third round. Mauricio could have said no to the fight at UFC 128, but he was professional and accepted it. Double standards?
Mousasi is playing a very dangerous game. We don’t really know a lot about opponent Latifi. Ilir is making his UFC debut knowing that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. We all know that Mousasi will be the favorite come fight night but anything can happen in the octagon.
Mousasi proved he is a loyal resource to the UFC by accepting this fight on short notice. Will it prove to be a good thing or a bad thing for his career? On Saturday, this question may be answered.
For fans short noticed fights can end up being more entertaining as they don’t have time to create a real game plan, so they usually just stick to their strengths and either knock out their opponent or submit them.
What will we see? Will this end up being a barnburner or a disappointment? Let us know what you think!