Former three-time UFC light heavyweight championship chaser, Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson has outlined his intentions to return to the Octagon early this year, hoping to put right wrongs made in his 2020 return, and snap a three-fight losing run.
Gustafsson, who had twice challenged for light heavyweight gold against former two-time champion, Jon Jones, as well as pushing former two-weight titleholder, Daniel Cormier to his limit, has yet to return to the Octagon since a ‘Fight Island’ appearance in July 2020.
Returning to the Octagon following a period of over 15 months on the sideline, Gustafsson made a heavyweight division climb at UFC Fight Island 3, suffering a completely one-sided opening round armbar loss to former division champion, Fabricio Werdum.
The loss came as the Arboga veteran’s third consecutively, following a submission defeat to one-time title challenger, Anthony Smith, after a vacant light heavyweight knockout loss to the aforenoted Jones.
The Swedish veteran was slated to return to the Octagon back in September at UFC Vegas 36 against the #11 ranked light heavyweight contender, Paul Craig, until an undisclosed injury prevented him from appearing at the event.
Teasing a potential return this year, Gustafsson informed ESPN MMA that he planned a 2022 comeback, in a bid to improve on his loss to Werdum two years ago.
“Let’s see what is going on,” Alexander Gustafsson said. “We’re talking to the UFC a lot. I wanna fight. I wanna fight early this year, and basically take it from there. I wanna make up for the (Fabricio) Werdum fight. I feel like I didn’t really get into that fight… I feel like I need to do stuff, take a fight, and take one fight at a time. I wanna fight early this year to just get in there and have fun. Take one win at a time.”
“I’m probably in the middle, in the between somewhere,” Alexander Gustafsson said of his return. “I’m very happy about my career. But I feel like I’m not done yet, you know? I’m still writing the book. I have to keep going in there and doing my thing. That’s what I’m doing… I really miss getting back to the Octagon and fighting. That’s what I’m gonna do, basically; go back and do my thing.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)
The 36-year-old’s most recent professional victory came back in May 2017 in the main event of UFC Fight Night Stockholm – where he scored a highlight-reel knockout win over current undisputed light heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira.
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