Alexander Gustafsson is confirmed to be the first challenger for Daniel Cormier’s newly won UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Gustafsson has seemingly jumped over contender Ryan Bader, but a date for his bout with Cormier has yet to be announced.
However just five months earlier, Gustafsson was actually contemplating retirement. Gus suffered a rough loss in front of a hometown crowd in Stockholm, Sweden when he got knocked clean out by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. “It was really bad,” Gustafsson told MMAJunkie. “I lost fights before, but this fight was the fight I couldn’t lose. I was supposed to win this fight, but I didn’t. I was thinking about that, to quit the sport. I was really depressed after the fight.”
The loss discouraged Gustafsson professionally and personally. He has lost fights before, but never one at that caliber in front of his home crowd. “It was a really bad blow for me – for my career and my personal life,” Gustafsson confessed. “It was a tough hit to take. The fight I couldn’t lose, I actually lost.”
“My motivation was gone, basically, so that was the toughest part, to keep on training with no motivation,” Gus continued. “I just wanted to escape from everything, escape from Stockholm, from the media, from everything. I didn’t want to see the gym. It was tough.”
Now, Gustafsson is feeling inspired to fight and with good reason; It’s not often a fighter coming off a loss gets to fight for the title. Record aside, Gus is ranked second in his division just behind “Rumble”. “My motivation is on top,” Gustafsson said. “I feel great. I feel great to be back in training, and everything is so much fun…. I’m just a happy guy right now. Everything is fun. Training is fun. Doing everything that comes with MMA is fun right now. So I’m just enjoying my time.”
Do you think Daniel Cormier will walk out with the gold? Does Alexander Gustafsson have a shot of walking out with the gold? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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