For most people, a successful April Fools’ joke ends with a few laughs and no one getting their feelings hurt. For Wanderlei Silva, a successful April Fools’ joke could end up leading to a cage fight.

Whereas most people are content with just messing with one or two people on April Fools’ day, “The Axe Murderer” decided to take on the entire MMA community, and he found his opening when Alexander Gustafsson suffered a fight-jeopardizing cut last weekend.

Silva went on Twitter and announced that he was stepping in for the injured Gustafsson, who was set to fight Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9, and since speculation had been running wild that “The Mauler” was in danger of being pulled from the card, the MMA media didn’t hesitate to jump on the story.

The news that Silva had replaced Gustafsson became common knowledge within an hour, and when Silva himself confirmed to multiple media outlets that he was en route to Sweden, it appeared the fight was set. However, news began to leak that Gustafsson had yet to be pulled from the card, and UFC President Dana White came out and said that the Swede was still fighting.

Wanderlei revealed the fight to be his version of an April Fools’ joke the next day, and although he may have thought the prank hilarious, few others were laughing. In fact, he accidentally made an enemy out of Gegard Mousasi in the process.

Mousasi was in a tough spot for the first part of last week, as he was stuck waiting to hear if Gustafsson would be able to compete against him on Saturday night. When Silva made his fake announcement, Mousasi assumed he was telling the truth and made it clear that he would accept the fight via Twitter. When “The Dreamcatcher” found out that Silva had been playing a joke the entire time, he was far from pleased, and the usually composed Mousasi lashed out on Twitter, calling Silva “Idiot of the Year.”

Eventually, Mousasi fought UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi after Gustafsson was pulled from the card, but it’s obvious that Silva got on the wrong side of Mousasi with his prank, and conventional wisdom says to let them fight it out inside the Octagon. The short-notice fight in Sweden and Visa issues made the fight all but impossible for UFC on Fuel TV 9, but the door is now open to let these two fight in the near future.

The makeshift rivalry makes this fight intriguing, but funnily enough, this fight would make a lot of sense even without the drama attached. Mousasi looked good against Latifi this weekend, especially considering that he fought with an injured knee, but he didn’t exactly set the world on fire with his performance. Mousasi has the skills to be a top contender at 205, but he needs to fight a few big names inside the Octagon before he can seriously be considered a title threat. A fight against Silva would accomplish that, and “The Axe Murderer” just so happens to be in the market for a top-ranked fighter in his next bout.

Silva is coming off an incredible war against Brian Stann at UFC on Fuel TV 8 last month, where Silva survived getting rocked on multiple occasions before knocking out “The All American” in the second round. The win was one of the best of Silva’s UFC career and has helped him earn a lot of momentum in the light heavyweight division, opening the door for a fight with a well-respected opponent like Mousasi.

With the UFC tending to keep international events on Fuel TV and FX at the moment, a Silva versus Mousasi fight could easily headline one of the smaller shows the UFC puts together, especially if the promotion decides to hold an event in Japan sometime soon. Both Silva and Mousasi became stars while fighting in Japan, and after seeing the reaction that “The Axe Murderer” got when he fought at the Super Saitama Arena last month, it’s pretty obvious the Japanese crowd would love another Silva fight.

Mousasi will be sidelined for a few months with the knee injury he suffered before his fight with Latifi, but when he returns there may not be a better match-up for him than Silva. Despite his exciting fighting style, Mousasi doesn’t bring a whole lot of flair outside of the cage and he isn’t going to be the easiest fighter for the UFC to promote in big fights. However, if the UFC throws Mousasi in the cage with an established big name like Silva, a win for “The Dreamcatcher” could help him become a star in the eyes of UFC fans that are otherwise unfamiliar with him.

It’s doubtful that Wanderlei Silva was looking to anger Gegard Mousasi when he played his April Fools’ day joke on the MMA world, but by getting under Mousasi’s skin, Silva accidentally created a best case scenario match-up for both fighters in the future.

Photo: Wanderlei Silva (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.