This weekend is UFC on FUEL TV 9, live from Stockholm, Sweden. The main event sees Gegard Mousasi make his UFC debut against late replacement Ilir Latifi, stepping in for the injured Alexander Gustafsson. Prior to the main event, the UFC presents a full show with 5 fights on Fuel. In this Bloody Elbow fight card primer, we take a look at the main card action, breaking down everything you need to know about these fights. Be sure to take a look at our prelim primers, and check back later today for all the news on Mousasi vs. Latifi.
UFC on FUEL TV 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi airs live from Stockholm this Saturday, April 6. The main card begins on Fuel at an early start time of 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT.
Former Strikeforce fighter Ryan Couture makes his UFC debut here. He's coming in off a somewhat questionable decision win over K.J. Noons, plus victories over Joe Duarte and Connor Heun. Clearly, the fact that he is the son of Randy Couture gives him some advantages from a promotional standpoint, but he's getting the job done in the cage so far. He'll have Randy in his corner for this fight. He has a tough debut here though as he faces the veteran Pearson. A former Ultimate Fighter winner, Pearson made the drop down to Featherweight in 2011, went 1-1, then moved back up to Lightweight last year with a win over George Sotiropoulos to cap of TUF: The Smashes. Pearson is a very solid fighter, though he's never been able to put together much of a win streak in the UFC.
Matt Mitrione has spent his entire professional MMA career inside the Octagon, coming in from the Heavyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter. He had a great start to his career, going 5-0, but has slowed lately. He lost in 2011 to Cheick Kongo, then took over a year off and returned last December in a losing effort to Roy Nelson. He badly needs a win here to escape losing three in a row. De Fries is an English fighter with a good ground game. He made his UFC debut as an undefeated fighter in 2011. He's bounced back and forth between wins and losses inside the Octagon, and is currently coming off a loss to Todd Duffee. With the Heavyweight division you never know what will happen, but this is a fight where the loser could potentially be cut.
Interesting Bantamweight fight here with two fighters just a bit outside the top of the division. Pickett had a nice WEC run, with the highlight being a win over future Flyweight champion Mighty Mouse Johnson. He's 2-2 in the UFC, but has had a rough schedule, as those losses come against Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland. Easton made his UFC debut in 2011. He went 3-0 in the Octagon including a win over Ivan Menjivar (in a pretty boring fight, but that's not the point), but then in his last fight was defeated by Raphael Assuncao. Both men here look to get back in the win column and avoid back to back losses.
Brandao is a TUF champion known for his aggressive style who trains with the Greg Jackson team down in Albuquerque. In his first UFC fight after the TUF win, he ran into the grinding style of Darren Elkins and dropped a decision. He came back last October with a decision win over Joey Gambino. Aptly nicknamed "The Sacrecrow", Garza is a tall, lanky Featherweight. He's been in a lot of exciting fights, though not always on the winning end. After dropping two in a row to Dustin Poirier and Dennis Bermudez, he came back last November by defeating (and, ultimately, retiring) Mark Hominick. He's looking for some consistent wins to go with those fun fights.
Corassani is a Swedish fighter making his 2nd UFC appearance here. Last time out, he spoiled Andy Ogle's hometown show with a split decision win in September. He's another Ultimate Fighter veteran, having lost to Dennis Bermudez on the show. Peralta is a 6 year pro who scored a good win in Strikeforce over Hiroyuki Takaya before coming to the UFC in 2011. He's undefeated in his last 10 fights, and is coming off a very nice 23 second KO of Jason Young inside the Octagon.