Current UFC #1 Light Heavyweight Title contender, Alexander Gustafsson (16-3) was 7-1 in his last 8 in the UFC. He had taken then champion, Jon Jones to the limit in what was voted as fight of the year in 2013. He won his rebound fight against Jimi Manuwa and was one fight away from receiving another shot at UFC gold.
However a Rumble came about. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was in the same situation, as he was on a 9 fight winning streak and if he was to beat Gustafsson, he would get the next title shot. Rumble did, he TKO’d Alexander in just over 2 minutes into the first round in front of Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden.
How bad did Alexander take the loss? He almost retired.
“It was really bad,” said Gustafsson to Chamatkar Sandhu and Abbey Subhan for MMAjunkie. “I lost fights before, but this fight was the fight I couldn’t lose. I was supposed to win this fight, but I didn’t. I was thinking about that, to quit the sport. I was really depressed after the fight.”
“It was a really bad blow for me – for my career and my personal life. It was a tough hit to take. The fight I couldn’t lose, I actually lost. My motivation was gone, basically, so that was the toughest part, to keep on training with no motivation. I just wanted to escape from everything, escape from Stockholm, from the media, from everything. I didn’t want to see the gym. It was tough.”
Gustafsson said there is honesty in misery however.
“You know who the real people are when it’s going really bad,” he said. “When it’s going downhill, then you know how it really is for you. It was pretty bad, but now I’m here. I’ve got my family. I’ve got my friends, my teammates. I’ve got real support, and now I’m back and feeling great – better than ever, actually.”
“My motivation is on top. I feel great. I feel great to be back in training, and everything is so much fun.
“I’m just a happy guy right now. Everything is fun. Training is fun. Doing everything that comes with MMA is fun right now. So I’m just enjoying my time.”
Gustafsson’s next opponent is newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, although a date has yet to be announced.
“I just see this as a second chance, as an opportunity for me,” said Gustafsson. “I won’t even go into why it happened or why I should fight him. I’m just enjoying my time.
“I just know that I got a second chance, and I will do the best that I can and show everybody that I can be the best guy in the world.”