Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (16-3) will challenge for Daniel Cormier’s (16-1) UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the Main Event this weekend at UFC 192. However in the weeks leading up to the event Alexander was less than engaging at the pressers when many predicted Gus to fire back at Cormier for his spiteful remarks.
As it turns out, “The Mauler” was more sleepy than angry. “I wasn’t even listening,” he told FOX Sports. “I was just tired after the trip for me to come over here [from Sweden to the United States] to do stuff. It takes energy to do the traveling so I was more or less just tired up there. We’ll see how it goes.
“I like to do my talking in the cage. That’s what I’m good at so I’m sticking to that. I’m not much of a talker on a stage. I believe we’re all professional athletes so we can show some mutual respect and wait until we get in the cage.”
Alexander is somewhat lucky to be in the position to win a UFC Title as he was brutally beat in his home country of Sweden by 1st round TKO at UFC on Fox 14 by Anthony Johnson.
“It’s one of those things. You just want to leave it in the past and move on to new challenges. This fight for me is a good way to leave that in the past, keep looking forward. I have new goals, and a new fight.”
“What I did wrong, what I could do different, what I should have done. I didn’t take the initiative in that fight. I was a slow starter, which is not usually me. I broke it down to the details.”
Getting the unexpected title shot against Cormier helped motivate the challenger as well. “[Getting the title fight] came as a shock to me at first,” he admitted.
“It was absolutely a boost for me. Once it sunk in, I felt great. I got my motivation back and everything turned out good at the end. I’m happy I got to go through those tough times. I got the support from my family, friends, and team, and we got the fight. I’m in the best shape of my life, now.”
Alexander closed by exclaiming that he is prepared for whatever Cormier has to offer.
“He is a high-caliber guy and I can’t compare myself to Jon Jones and other fighters, because we’re totally different fighters and different fighters make different fights. But I’ve done my homework. If he wants to wrestle, I’ll be ready to wrestle. If he wants to strike, I’ll be ready to strike. I’ll have an answer for whatever happens. He’ll probably take me down once or two times but I’ll get up. I’m ready to go toe-to-toe with Daniel Cormier. I’m ready.”