Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson is looking healthy and happy as prepares for his debut in the heavyweight division. Apparently, he’s feeling great, too.
Gustafsson will make his debut in the UFC heavyweight division on July 25 at a Fight Night event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. He’ll be welcomed to the weight class by the former champion, Brazil’s Fabricio Werdum.
Ahead of this heavyweight fight, Gustafsson is looking noticeably bigger. He gave a preview of his new physique on Instagram recently.
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“I’m exited! Feeling confident! Feeling strong! Version 2.0 is coming,” Gustafsson wrote on Instagram.
Gustafsson also recently did an interview with MMA Viking, in which his heavyweight physique is also on display.
“I’m pretty big at light heavyweight and I always have to cut 15-17 kilos every fight,” Gustafsson told MMA Viking (via MMA Mania). “So I just wanted to challenge myself a little bit. I’m eating pasta now, I’m feeling good, I weigh 107 kilos. I never felt so strong. I’m still keeping my skills as a light heavyweight but I’m just feeling stronger.”
Alexander Gustafsson last fought June of 2019, when he was submitted by Anthony Smith. After this submission loss, which occurred in his native Sweden, Gustafsson announced his decision to hang up the gloves. That being said, he quickly began to lay out plans for a return.
Gustafsson is widely regarded as one of the best light heavyweights ever. While he never captured UFC gold in the division, he fought for the title three times. On two of those occasions, he lost the narrowest decisions, very nearly capturing the belt. Other highlights of his resume include wins over Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Thiago Silva, and Matt Hamill.
His opponent Fabricio Werdum, on the other hand, last fought at UFC 249 in May, returning from a lengthy hiatus induced by a tie-up with the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He lost his comeback fight, against Alexey Oleinik, by unanimous decision. Werdum ruled over the UFC heavyweight division in 2015 and 2016, winning the title with a submission of Cain Velasquez, and losing it via knockout to Stipe Miocic in his first title defense.
Time will tell how the dangerous Swede fairs against the behemoths of the heavyweight division.