Alexander Gustafsson Suggests He’s Reconsidering MMA Retirement

Alexander Gustafsson
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Gustafsson suggests he’s already reconsidering his recent retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA).

“The Mauler” was recently defeated by Anthony “Lionheart” Smith in his native Sweden via third round submission. After the fight, Gustafsson took off his gloves and retired from MMA competition on a two fight losing streak. Gustafsson has been one of the most talented 205-pound fighters in the history of the UFC.

However, of his three career title opportunities, Gustafsson was never able to get the job done, losing to names such as Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. After his last outing against Smith, the Swede felt it was time to call it a career. However, speaking to MMAnytt recently, Gustafsson suggested he’s getting the competitive itch in his hands as of late:

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“I felt an incredible frustration, I’m a really sore loser and I left my gloves in the cage and felt that it’s enough now,” Gustafsson said. “But with that said I still have this tingle in my hands. This is very new, it’s been a month and I’m far from a retired fighter in my way of thinking and such.

“I’ve made my decision and so on but it takes time to adapt and accept the new things in life and your role in all of it. I haven’t watched much MMA since I haven’t been so active myself, I don’t have time, energy or desire to watch, obviously I watch some fights, if there’s someone in my division who’s competing, that’s interesting, of course – that could be a future opponent.

“But otherwise I’ve been pretty bad at watching [MMA], I’ve just tried to create as much distance to the sport as possible, because you live it every day. But it’s different times now, so now I have some things to take care of and then we’ll see what happens.”

Gustafsson admitted that his decision to retire was made in the heat of the moment following his second UFC loss in front of his native crowd, but his comments seem to hint at the possibility of a return at some point down the road:

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“MMA has been a large part of my life for a very long time,” Gustafsson said. “June first in the Globe Arena was very tough for me and I’m an emotional person, it felt awful after the loss and it felt like ‘game over’ in that moment.

“I had hoped for a different outcome, but it turned out like it did and somehow I have to move on from that. But of course for every day that passes I miss it more and more. Nobody knows what the future holds.”

What are your thoughts on Gustafsson reconsidering his retirement from MMA? Do you think “The Mauler” should keep fighting?

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Has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past several years. Also covers professional wrestling for WrestleZone and EWrestlingNews, and the Houston Texans for USA Today's Texans Wire.