Following his loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm, Alexander Gustfasson immediately announced his retirement from MMA. He symbolically left his gloves inside the Octagon and made it official in his post-fight interviews. The devastating of losing two fights in a row, especially with the loss to Smith occurring in his home country, not only drove Gustafsson to retirement but away from the sport altogether, even as a viewer. But neither the losses nor the time away has completely extinguished the fire to compete that continues to call the Mauler forward:
“I felt an incredible frustration, I’m a really sore loser and I left my gloves in the cage and felt that it’s enough now,” Gustafsson told MMAnytt. “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 time to adapt and accept the new things in life and your role in all of it.”
“I haven’t watched much MMA since I haven’t been so active myself, I don’t have time, energy or desire to watch, obviously I watch some fights, if there’s someone in my division who’s competing, that’s interesting, of course – that could be a future opponent,” the Swede said. “But otherwise I’ve been pretty bad at watching [MMA], I’ve just tried to create as much distance to the sport as possible, because you live it every day. But it’s different times now, so now I have some things to take care of and then we’ll see what happens.”
Gustafsson did not express regret for his decision to retire, yet he admits it was made in the heat of the moment. And reading Gustafsson comments, it seems readily apparent that he is leaving the door open for a possible MMA return:
“MMA has been a large part of my life for a very long time,” Gustafsson said. “June first in the Globe Arena was very tough for me and I’m an emotional person, it felt awful after the loss and it felt like ‘game over’ in that moment. I had hoped for a different outcome, but it turned out like it did and somehow I have to move on from that. But of course for every day that passes I miss it more and more.”
“Nobody knows what the future holds,” Gustafsson concluded.
Do you believe Alexander Gustafsson will fight in the UFC again?