UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier paid tribute to Alexander Gustafsson following the latter’s retirement.
Gustafsson called it a career this past weekend following his shock submission defeat to Anthony Smith in the UFC Stockholm headliner. While many in the past have retired after getting caught up in the moment of a big loss, only to come back later on, “The Mauler” later confirmed it would be his last outing in the Octagon.
A number of fighters have already paid tribute to the Swede, including longtime rival Jon Jones, and the latest being another former opponent, “DC”:
“Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey,” Cormier wrote on Instagram. “We’ve agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed!
“I understand the motivation changes and for you it is now your family. I say now you’re starting to really live the good life. Congrats on a great career my man! You’re a hammer! see you around.”
Cormier successfully defended his light heavyweight title against Gustafsson in a back-and-forth war at UFC 192 back in October 2015. “DC” claimed the victory via split decision in what marked Gustafsson’s second failed title attempt.
The two have gone back-and-forth in social media since, but there has always been a mutual respect between both fighters.