Shortly after he was defeated by Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC Stockholm over the weekend, Sweden’s Alexander Gustafsson hung up the gloves.
“What can I say… The show is over guy,” Gustafsson said in the Octagon, placing his gloves on the canvas.
“It feels like I don’t have in me anymore to be honest,” he added post-fight, explaining his decision. “It feels like I do mistakes I shouldn’t do. I just feel like, I just have the feeling like it is the time now. I don’t want to be a journeyman, I don’t want to do this because I am getting paid. I just want to do this because I love it and I want to be at the top.”
In the wake of this surprising announcement, many top fighters have reached out to Alexander Gustafsson, offering him their thanks and respect. One of the latest to do so is one of his previous opponents, reigning UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
See Cormier’s message to Alexander Gustafsson, penned on his official Twitter account, below.
“Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey,” Cormier wrote in his message to the Swede, which included a photo from their fight. “We’ve agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed!”
Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson fought in 2015, with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line. After five, razor close rounds, Cormier emerged the victor via split decision.
Gustafsson retires with an impressive 18-6 overall record. Highlights of his career include triumphs over Thiago Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Jimi Manuwa, Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. He’s perhaps best known for his razor close 2013 war with Jon Jones.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/3/2019.