Dana White says that Alexander Gustafsson plans on coming out of retirement to fight again.
The Swedish fighter last fought in June when he was defeated by Anthony Smith via fourth-round submission. Prior to that, “The Mauler” was TKO’d by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the third round.
Following these back-to-back losses, the Swedish fighter was forced to reconsider his career and subsequently announced his retirement in front of his home crowd.
Now the UFC President confirms that the light heavyweight’s retirement was short-lived. During the UFC 244 post-fight press conference, White revealed that discussions are underway with Gustafsson regarding an Octagon return.
“We definitely talked to him and he definitely wants to fight again,” White said.
When asked if he had a timeframe, White responded:
Gustafsson is taking the appropriate steps to get back into competition and will take part in a no-gi grappling match on December 11 in Gothenburg, Sweden. During an interview with (MMA Junkie), “The Mauler” confirmed he is ready to get back to action.
“I got the itching back when I started training, but I am not prepared for a full MMA camp yet,” Gustafsson said.
“I also need to work on my grappling so this [upcoming competition] is perfect, and that I get the chance to do it at home in a town I haven’t been competing at for a long time.
“My competition mind is always there and I would lie if I said this is not the first step but let’s see what happens. Anything can happen but I am sure that when it happens, I will be the best I’ve ever been.”
Gustafsson added that he needed a break to rediscover his love for competition.
“I believe I needed to do honestly [take a break]. I believe that you sometimes need to take a break to realize what you have and that is not only meant for sports only but life in general.”
How do you think Alexander Gustafsson will look in his return to the cage?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.