(Editor’s Note: The following report was accurate in that it reflected the statements of all the parties contacted at the time of its writing. Wanderlei Silva, however, later admitted that his statements were false.)
“Just finish talk to Rafael Cordeiro (Silva’s longtime friend and coach),” Silva told MMAWeekly.com via text message. “He gonna come tomorrow to Vegas. I take the fight.”
Earlier, Silva, tweeted in broken English about stepping into the fight, but it was unclear if he was saying he’d been offered the fight with Mousasi or if he was saying he would be a replacement.
It appears he’s been contacted by the UFC and has accepted the fight with Mousasi.
Pressed further for clarification, Silva was asked if his original text meant he would be a back-up opponent if Gustafsson failed to gain medical clearance, or if Silva believed he would be the one fighting Mousasi on Saturday.
“I gonna fight Mousasi on Saturday,” Silva responded.
Gustafsson suffered a severe cut in sparring over the weekend. Three doctors indicated the injury would take weeks to heal.
UFC president Dana White insisted the fight card has not undergone any changes and that Gustafsson is fighting. Other MMAWeekly.com sources close to the promotion backed his statement, insisting that, “Gustafsson vs. Mousasi is still the plan.”
On Twitter, Mousasi sounded no more enlightened on the situation than the rest. He is, however, ready to fight whomever the UFC puts in front of him on Saturday.
“Hey mr Silva, if this is true and you are ready to fight me than I accept the fight, It’s an honor for me Much respect for you,” Mousasi wrote.
Mousasi, however, courted speculation when he added, “at this moment I do not have any new info about my situation But if ufc want’s and mr @wandfc is ready for me than let’s Go!”
For now, it appears fans and observers are in a holding pattern.