Alexander Gustafsson
The Mauler

Sweden

Submitted in heavyweight debut
HeavyweightUFC
July 25, 2020
Gustafsson lost to Fabricio Werdum via submission (Armbar) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Not good. Making his heavyweight debut after a storied career at 205 pounds, Gus lasted all of 150 seconds. Werdum is especially weak in the striking game at his advanced age, but he can still submit any man in the world if given the opportunity, and Gustafsson found himself in a bad situation almost immediately. Gus "retired" following his submission loss to Anthony Smith in June 2019 before quickly getting the urge to return. He figures to have a more much difficult decision on his hands this time around. Gus has suffered three stoppage losses in a row and is without a victory in well over three years. It's impossible to believe the company would just cut their losses assuming the big Swede wants to continue fighting at age 33, but there are virtually no fights that make sense for him at the moment.
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Comeback official on July 25 card
HeavyweightUFC
June 5, 2020
Gustafsson will square off against Fabricio Werdum on the July 25 "Fight Island" card, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gustafsson suggested last September that he was discussing a potential comeback with the UFC brass but nothing had come to fruition until now. Gustafsson will move up to the heavyweight division for his first fight in over a year and gets a tough task in Werdum, a former heavyweight champ. Both fighters enter the bout looking to shake off a pair of losses in each of their last two bouts.
Considering comeback
HeavyweightUFC
September 2, 2019
Gustafsson is discussing a potential comeback with UFC brass, according to Ryan O'Leary of MMA Viking.
ANALYSIS
Gustafsson shocked fans when he retired at the age of 32 following a June 1 loss to Anthony Smith in front of his home country, so it's not too surprising to find out that decision may have been a little premature. He claims to currently weigh in the range of 240-25 pounds, however, which means he likely needs some time in the gym prior to making any kind of return fight official. While a return fight could be in the works for a while, Gustafsson did express an openness to fighting Luke Rockhold, who like Gustafsson, is coming off a two-fight losing streak.
Stuns crowd with retirement
HeavyweightUFC
June 1, 2019
Gustafsson lost to Anthony Smith via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of Round 4 at UFC Fight Night 153 in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Gus looked a bit lethargic in the early going, allowing his opponent to pressure him to the fence and land strikes for the better part of the first two rounds. He was able to take control with some nice combinations and a big body kick in the third, but a failed takedown attempt in Round 4 allowed Smith to take the back and sink in the choke. Gustafsson was visibly upset after the loss, telling the crowd "the show is over, guys" before leaving his gloves in the cage. Whether this is a true retirement or just a product of frustration is yet to be seen, but it's possible that Gustafsson is having a hard time seeing his way back to the title picture after the fourth loss in his last six fights. If he were to call it quits, "The Mauler" would finish his professional MMA career with a record of 18-6.
Draws Anthony Smith in Sweden
HeavyweightUFC
March 9, 2019
Gustafsson will face Anthony Smith in a light heavyweight bout at UFC Stockholm on June 1, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
The two most recent light heavyweight title contenders, both beaten by champion Jon Jones, will meet to headline the UFC Fight Night in Gustafsson's home country of Sweden. Smith ended up making it all five rounds against Jones, while Gustafsson was stopped via strikes in the second round. Gustafsson enters with slight height and reach advantages, in addition to holding the edge in volume striking, takedown average and striking defense. Smith will be a betting underdog, though he's the younger combatant with slightly better striking defense marks, though most of his stats were compiled in the 185-pound division.
Loses via TKO at UFC 232
HeavyweightUFC
December 29, 2018
Gustafsson was defeated by Jon Jones via TKO (punches) at 2:02 of Round 3 at UFC 232 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
ANALYSIS
Gustafsson put up a good fight. The first round was uneventful and Jones likely won due to a higher output of strikes. He also found success with leg kicks and seemed to injure Gustafsson's leg. In the second round business picked up and the fighters traded strikes. "The Mauler" displayed great takedown defense through the first two rounds, but Jones was able to secure a takedown in the third round. From there, he landed huge ground and pound that forced Gustafsson to give up his back. Jones rained down strikes which forced the referee to stop the fight.