Alexander Gustafsson: ‘I’m far from a retired fighter in my way of thinking’

Alexander Gustafsson
Image via @ufc on Instagram

Alexander Gustafsson is reconsidering his retirement.

The Swedish fighter announced his retirement in Stockholm last month, after receiving a submission loss from Anthony Smith.

His last fight prior was a loss against current champion Jon Jones, which meant two consecutive losses for “The Mauler”. In recent years, his fighting record has been checkered with losses from opponents such as Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson.

When fighting the best of the best, losses are somewhat inevitable. Nevertheless, any loss can make a fighter question their career inside the Octagon.

According to MMA Nytt, Gustafsson took his losses to heart but is itching to come back.

“I fought my last fight against Anthony Smith, and it didn’t go as planned. I felt an incredible frustration. I’m a really sore loser, and I left my gloves in the cage and felt that’s enough now,” said Gustafsson. “But with that said, I still have this tingle in my hands. This is very new. It’s been a month, and I’m far from a retired fighter in my way of thinking and such. I’ve made my decision and so on, but it takes times to adapt and accept the new things in life and your role in all of it.”

Alexander Gustafsson has had 26 fights as a professional fighter spanning over 12 years. He made his UFC debut in 2009 and has defeated world-class fighters including Jimi Manuwa and Glover Teixeira.

Retired fighter “Rumble” Johnson has teased at a return to the octagon. George St Pierre is open to the possibility of returning from retirement for the right fight. Also, Conor McGregor’s March retirement seemed nothing more than an elaborate PR stunt.

As time goes on, it is becoming evident that retirement doesn’t always last in MMA. Many fighters struggle holding themselves to it. Often, it seems to be little more than a cooling off period for fighters to reevaluate their career decisions. Alexander Gustafsson could be the latest proof of this fact.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/10/2019.