BREAKING: Alexander Gustafsson Announces a Surprise Comeback Against Former Heavyweight Champ

Published 06/05/2020, 12:54 PM EDT


It seems like retirement isn’t suiting Alexander Gustafsson. The former Light Heavyweight title challenger is planning for a UFC return. However, he will be moving up a weight class and plans to make a debut at Heavyweight. The UFC is currently targeting for the fight to take place on 25th July.

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The news was first reported by Combate. Former UFC Heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum is the likely opponent for Gustafsson. The Swedish mixed martial artist retired last year following a submission defeat at the hands of Anthony Smith. Before that fight, Gustafsson failed to capture the Light Heavyweight crown against Jon Jones. Following the fourth round loss against Smith, Gustafsson left his gloves inside the Octagon by saying, “The show is over guys.”

(Alexander Gustafsson announces retirement after loss to Anthony Smith)

Gustafsson is the quintessential prototype of a UFC fighter who was very good but was never the best. His first fight against Jon Jones is one of the best UFC fights of all time. Despite fighting thrice for the title, twice against Jones and once against Daniel Cormier, he could never get over the hump in title fights.

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His proposed opponent, Fabricio Werdum, has a slightly different story. A true veteran of the sport, Werdum has held the UFC heavyweight belt once in his career. If the plans for Werdum vs Gustafsson fall through, the UFC has a backup in place.

The UFC is keeping Ovince Saint Preux as ‘Plan B’ for the return of Alexander Gustafsson

The UFC, it seems, is really looking forward to Gustafsson’s return. Hence, they are not taking any half-measures. Just in case the negotiations with Fabricio Werdum don’t fall in place, they are keeping Saint Preux as a backup. A former Light Heavyweight himself, OSP made his Heavyweight debut last month against Ben Rothwell. He lost the fight via a split decision.

May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) fights Fabricio Werdum (blue gloves) during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Saint Preux, Werdum is also coming off a split decision loss against Aleksei Oleinik. He fought at UFC 249 last month after coming off a two-year layoff. In 2018, USADA suspended the Brazilian for two years after he tested positive for trenbolone. However, his suspension was cut down by ten months after he provided substantial assistance to the UFC

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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