The facial laceration suffered by light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson will prevent the Swede from headlining UFC on Fuel TV 9 on Saturday, April 6.

Despite Gustafsson’s desire to remain in the main event against former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi, the Swedish MMA Federation doctors determined that due the severity and location of the cut, the 26-year-old would not be cleared for the fight.

With the fight just four days away, the UFC was limited in its options. As such, Gustafsson’s teammate, Ilir Latifi, will step in against Mousasi. UFC President Dana White announced the news on via his Twitter account.

In addition to the change, the main event will now be a three-round affair rather than the previously scheduled five.

The 29-year-old Latifi, whose record sits at 7-2, will make his UFC debut riding a three-fight winning streak. One of those wins came against former King of the Cage champion Tony Lopez. The Swedish fighter sports two wins by knockout, three by submission and two by decision. One of his two losses came against recent Bellator tournament winner Emanuel Newton.

Meanwhile, Mousasi will also make his promotional debut. The Strikeforce, Dream and Pride veteran has long been considered one of the best fighters outside the UFC. With the injury, the title implications surrounding the fight may now be out the window.

UFC on Fuel TV 9 will take place from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The main card will air live on Fuel TV beginning at 2 p.m. ET with the preliminary card streaming live on the promotion’s YouTube page starting at 10:30 a.m ET.

Photo: Ilir Latifi (GLORY)