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Alexander Gustafsson came into his recent title fight with Jon Jones as a heavy underdog, before proceeding to shock the world by giving the reigning light heavyweight champion the fight of his life.
What was perhaps most surprising about the match up was Gustafsson’s lack of timidity, even when facing one of the most dominant champions in MMA history.
According to Gustafsson’s coach Eric Del Fierro though, that was all a part of the plan.
“We were looking to stop Jones,” Fierro said in an interview with Telegraph Sports. “That’s what we were always looking for. We in the camp knew what Alex has, what the rest of the world didn’t know he had. The kid can wrestle. He has the whole game, you know what I mean, and this was his first time up against someone like Jones, who is a monster himself.”
Fierro adds that after the first round, he knew Gustafsson had the power to end the fight.
“After the first round, and then into the second we knew Alex could stop Jon and we were trying to urge him to pressure forward, and not to respect any of the takedowns,” he said. “He was stopping all of them. Jones wasn’t able to hold Alex down, even at the end, because he was so exhausted. We were really pleased when Alex took Jon down, because it made people realize that Alex is a monster himself. He’s so young, he’s going to be a beast, you know. We’ve known it about Alex for a while, he was going in there to win, and to take the belt for sure.”
With the controversial decision behind him, Gustafsson is reportedly gearing up to train for a potential rematch. One thing’s for sure, in their second bout, both fighters are going to be looking for a definitive finish.