Alexander Gustafsson says he is here to stay after a brief retirement from MMA.
Gustafsson headlined UFC Stockholm last June against Anthony Smith. It was a very intriguing matchup where both men were looking to rebound after losses to Jon Jones.
Entering the fight, the Swede was the favorite but it was Smith who got the job done by submission. After the loss, Gustafsson shockingly announced his retirement from the sport which he says was mostly due to him being heartbroken.
“I was just heartbroken that’s all. It was a tough fight, it was in Stockholm. It was against a guy I know I’ve got the tools to beat but I didn’t obviously,” Gustafsson said at media day. “I felt like I lost the first round but started to pick up the pace and take points and winning the fight. But, then I did a mistake and Anthony Smith is a tough guy, it is a high-level. He saw an opportunity and he took it and he submitted me. It was a tough night and my emotions and thoughts were just chaos in my head. Then I took the call.”
When he steps back into the Octagon on Saturday night, he will be moving up to heavyweight to battle Fabricio Werdum. It will be weird to see the Swede at heavyweight but it could be a career resurgence for him. The two have also traded shots at one another over a sparring match that happened 10 years ago.
So, for Alexander Gustafsson, he is confident he will get his hand raised on Saturday and start off his heavyweight run with a win. And, even though he has already retired once he says he is now here to stay once again.
“I want to be active, I’m here to stay,” he concluded. “I’m not going anywhere so let’s see what happens.”
What do you make of Alexander Gustafsson moving up to heavyweight to face Fabricio Werdum?