Wanderlei Silva, despite his own statements to the contrary, is not fighting Gegard Mousasi after all.
After speaking to several media outlets on Monday, providing quotes and assuring them it was not an April Fools’ Day joke, Silva admitted on Tuesday that he is not replacing Alexander Gustafsson against Gegard Mousasi on April 6.
It was all an April Fools’ Day hoax.
“I catch you,” Silva tweeted on Tuesday. “Best April first ever!!”
MMAWeekly.com was caught in the midst of the hoax, along with several other outlets, following Silva's numerous reassurances that he was being honest and had agreed to step in for an injured Gustafsson.
Misleading media outlets is one thing, but the effects of the hoax are even more telling on the actual parties involved.
Gustafsson does have a cut and his fight with Mousasi is in jeopardy. Mousasi has been waiting to hear whether or not he has a new opponent – or even a fight – just five days away from the event.
Mousasi tweeted on Monday, “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!”
The “joke” didn’t seem funny to Mousasi, and he responded heatedly via Twitter Tuesday morning.
“IDIOOT OF THE YEAR 2013!! Good job JACKASS!!!,” tweeted Mousasi.
Many fighters took to twitter on Monday making April Fool's Day jokes. Tim Kennedy tweeted that he was filling in for Gustafsson. Sara McMann retweeted that her UFC debut would be on hold because she was pregnant with her second child.
Silva took it much further than a couple of tweets, however.
He gave personal statements and interviews talking about the fight and the details of his preparedness. Silva was able to pull off his deception because of his reputation. He is well known for his honesty and candor. The move was out of character, which made it believable to those who have dealt with him over his 17-year career.