Alexander Gustafsson is set for his UFC return against Ben Rothwell in a heavyweight clash targeted for May 21st according to Frontkick.

The former UFC Light Heavyweight title challenger will be making his heavyweight return after almost two years away from the sport. His last bout was the Swede’s UFC heavyweight debut against former champ Fabricio Werdum at UFC Fight Island 3, where he lost via a first-round armbar. 

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Gustafsson announced his retirement from MMA following back-to-back losses at heavyweight versus Jon Jones and Anthony ‘Lion Heart’ Smith. ‘The Mauler’ soon retracted his statement in his l pursuit of a run at heavyweight. ‘The Mauler’ has only managed to win three of his last nine fights.

His proposed opponent, on the other hand, has won three of his last five fights, despite, Rothwell suffering a knockout loss in his last fight against Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC Vegas 42.

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Can we see Alexander Gustafsson construct a run at the UFC Heavyweight title?

Gustafsson made his UFC debut at lightweight heavyweight at UFC 105, where he knocked out Jared Hamman inside the opening minute of the first round, just over a decade ago. He would go on to win six fights on the bounce, before losing a five-round slugfest against Jon Jones at UFC 165 for the 206-pound belt. 

Regardless of the setback, Alexander Gustafsson remained in the Light Heavyweight contender picture, fighting the likes of Daniel Cormier, Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira before earning himself another shot at Jones and Light heavyweight gold. This time, ‘The Mauler’ came up against a more polished Jones, as he finished him in the third round.

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It is uncertain how many fights are on Gustafsson’s current UFC contract, but the Swede looking to earn himself one last run at UFC gold before the book on his MMA career closes. 

Nonetheless, Rothwell will be looking to go and prove he still has something to offer within the heavyweight division. 

Do you think Ben Rothwell will crash the return party of Alexander Gustafsson?

Combat sports journalist based out of the UK. Follow @OliverBrockett on Twitter for all things MMA and Boxing.