It was just over a year ago when UFC President Dana White told media that all FX and FUEL TV main events would be five-round contests, regardless if there was a title on the line or not.
That statement was all well and good in relation to stateside events, however, it is not as easily accomplished in foreign territories as the UFC found out when dealing with the SMMAF (Swedish MMA Federation).
Thankfully for fight fans, the SMMAF approved this particular bout between Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Gustafsson to be a five round fight.
The union wrote in its application that the match should go between two established, experienced and highly qualified MMA practitioners who are so skilled that they are approaching the level of world title fights.
Against this background and taking into account that there are two practitioners who are at the world level, approves Martial Arts Delegation one game on 25 minutes. The decision was not unanimous. The delegation’s Medical expert neurologist doctor Bjorn Lindvall at the University Hospital in Orebro, are dissenting. The actual decision on the CAB website.
It is worth mentioning that the SMMAF has not changed its position on head trauma and that this ruling should be considered the exception, not the rule.
That means future non-title headliners will still be relegated to three rounds, but because of the skill level and experience of both Mousasi and Gustafsson, who are both top contenders in the light heavyweight division, the SMMAF has granted an extra pair of rounds for the April 6 main event.