Long-time light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson will end his retirement and move up to the heavyweight division according to a report from Combate. The Swedish puncher previously called it a day in 2019 after suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats against Jon Jones and Anthony Smith.
According to the Combate report, Gustafsson is hoping to compete on the ‘Fight Island’ card expected to be headlined by Darren Till vs. Robert Whittaker on July 25. The 33-year-old will be stepping up in weight for his return and is expected to face former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, although former interim light heavyweight title challenger Ovince Saint Preux is another possibility.
Werdum has just returned to action following a two-year ban from the sport imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The Brazilian lost in his comeback fight against Alexey Oleinik, by unanimous decision. Nevertheless, he remains a big name in the division after capturing the belt by beating Cain Velasquez in 2015 before surrendering his crown to current heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic in his first title defence.
‘OSP’ has long been a staple on the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. He recently stepped up to heavyweight to face Ben Rothwell at UFC Jacksonville on May. St-Preux looked unconvinving in his heavyweight debut losing the fight by split decision. Many believed he wouldn’t stick around at the higher weight-class but it appears he would be willing to do so for a fight with Gustafsson.
Can Alexander Gustafsson become a UFC champion at heavyweight?