The main event of UFC Stockholm saw Alexander Gustafsson return to his home country, where a raucous crowd greeted him for his main event bout against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith. Who knew that Gustafsson’s jog to the Octagon would begin his final lap as a UFC fighter?
Anthony Smith would upset Alexander Gustafsson in Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden; afterwards, Alexander Gustafsson would drop his gloves after the fight and imply that he was retired after stating the “show was over.” And after the event, Alexander Gustafsson confirmed the news in no uncertain terms:
“Yeah I am. I’m done,” Gustafsson announced during the UFC Fight Night post fight show. “It feels like I don’t have it in me anymore to be honest. I did a mistake that I shouldn’t do and I just have a feeling it’s the time now.
“I don’t want to be a journeyman. I don’t want to do this just because I’m getting paid. I just want to do this because I love it and I want to be at the top.”
Alexander Gustafsson is not making the decision to step away merely because of the loss to Anthony Smith but because of what it means for him in the big picture after having lost multiple title opportunities prior to this defeat:
“I lost my third title fight. It’s the top guys, I thought I can rebuild that. I can start with Smith and take it from there but well I lost this time, too,” Gustafsson said. “It is what it is.
“I had a great journey. I have everything in my life because of this sport, because of the UFC and I’m thankful and it’s been a great journey.”
Alexander Gustafsson has already made plans for life after fighting, which will include a continued involvement in the sport that “The Mauler” loves:
“I’m just going to spend time with my kids. I own the gym I train in and I’ve got some projects going on here. Let’s see what the next chapter will be,” Gustafsson said.
“I’m very grateful for my career as a fighter and being able to fight for the UFC for so long.”
Do you believe we have truly seen the last of Alexander Gustafsson in the Octagon? If so, what will his legacy be to you?