Alexander Gustafsson wants UFC return and fight with Luke Rockhold

Alexander Gustafsson wants UFC return and fight with Luke Rockhold

3. 9. 2019

Alexander Gustafsson announced his retirement on June 1 at UFC on ESPN+ 11 after a loss to Anthony Smith in front of his home fans in Sweden. But it appears he may have had a change of heart.

“The Mauler’s” retirement may not last much longer.

Speaking to MMA Viking, Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC), a three-time light heavyweight title challenger, said it only took a couple of days for him to realize he may have walked away from the sport too soon.

“It came quite fast,” Gustafsson said. “I was home for a couple days, and I had itching in my hands and wanted to get back and train.”

While he isn’t set on a comeback just yet, Gustafsson said he wants to test the waters in training, then go from there.

“I just want to train and get into shape,” Gustafsson said. “Let’s see how it goes.”

The 32-year-old Swede has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, including light heavyweight champion Jon Jones twice and former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. He failed to capture the title in all three title attempts. He had close losses to Jones at UFC 165 and Cormier at UFC 192.

Should he return, he wants to take on another big name. Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold recently made the move up to light heavyweight, and Gustafsson said he would be happy to fight him.

In his 205-pound debut, Rockhold suffered a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 and reportedly suffered a broken jaw. But despite Rockhold’s recent slump, Gustafsson said he respects him.

“(I) would love a fight,” Gustafsson said. 

“A fight against Luke would be a great way to come back. He is a tough guy, a legend.”

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