The Octagon returned to the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday for UFC Stockholm. In the main event, Sweden’s own Alexander Gustafsson was looking to cement himself as the top light heavyweight contender as he was taking on Anthony Smith.
Both Gustafsson and Smith were coming off title shot losses to Jon Jones, but it still was an intriguing bout.
Ultimately, Anthony Smith silenced the Swedish fans as he submitted Alexander Gustafsson to reiterate that he is a legitimate contender at 205-pounds. Meanwhile, Gustafsson announced his retirement from the sport after the loss.
Here is what we think should be next for these two fighters.
When Anthony Smith got a title shot at UFC 235 it was coming off of three wins at light heavyweight, with all three by stoppage. However, Jon Jones just dominated that fight from bell-to-bell as he closed out a unanimous decision win.
But, Smith said it wasn’t his best performance and said he would like another crack at Jones. And, after this win, he showed that he is a top contender, and should get another shot at the champion. However, “Lionheart” has said he wants to take the rest of the year off, but a logical next fight for the 30-year-old is to fight Luke Rockhold.
The former middleweight champion and Smith have gone back-and-forth in interviews questioning each other’s skills. So, it just makes sense for them to fight next, provided Rockhold beats Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239.
If this is really it for Alexander Gustafsson, he can ride off into the sunset with his head held high. He had a phenomenal career and has talked about retirement for quite a while now. Although he lost, and never won a UFC championship, he is one of the best light heavyweights to ever compete for the Las Vegas-based promotion. Gustafsson was dominant and was a fan favorite throughout his career. Hats off to him on an incredible run and career.
Who do you think is next for Anthony Smith and Alexander Gustafsson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/2/2019.