They say in mixed martial arts everyone loses and it is the most humbling sport in the world. Anything can happen, especially in the UFC and hearts get broken all the time. Nobody knows more about heartbreak inside the octagon than Alexander Gustafsson and after suffering a devastating TKO loss in front of his fellow countrymen he almost called it a career.
After losing a razor close decision in his championship fight against Jon Jones, Gustafsson was back on the road to get another chance at “Bones” all he had to do was get pass Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. The table was set for Gustafsson to get his rematch against Jones. The fight took place in his homeland of Stockholm, Sweden. Over 30,000 fans packed the Tele2 Arena to see their hero earn another crack at the light heavyweight title that he was so close to calling his own. But this is the UFC and nothing is guaranteed. Rather than celebrating a victory in front of 30,000 of his fellow countrymen he suffered a first round TKO loss by the powerful fists of “Rumble” Johnson.
Gustafsson recently shared his feelings after the loss with the Swedish newspaper Expressen. “It has definitely been my most difficult period in life so far, I was completely serious about quitting MMA. I don’t care really about the title, it was that it happened in front of my home crowd. My cousins’ cousins were in place. It just took it too hard. I didn’t have the will to continue. I was really close to quitting. But I have received so much love from fans, loved ones and my team.”
Gusafsson was a true sportsman in his defeat and spoke well of Johnson but everyone could see the pain in his eyes after the fight and during the post fight press conference. The great thing about MMA is that redemption is only a fight away. Gustafsson will get his shot on June 20th in Berlin as he goes up against former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
“If I had not wanted to do this anymore, I [would have] stopped. But I want to continue. There is no doubt about it. No one is forcing me. I’m not doing this for money, but to be the best in the world.”