Alexander Gustafsson “incredibly touched” by support following retirement
June first, 2019 was a tough night for Swedish MMA, and more so for Alexander Gustafsson. After coming up short in the rematch with arch rival Jon Jones at UFC 232, he was booked for a return fight on home soil in Stockholm; UFC on ESPN+ 11. He welcomed American former titel challenger Anthony Smith and beforehand the questions surrounding Gustafsson were not concerning his skills – but rather his motivation.
As we now know, Gustafsson would be submitted in the fourth round and decided to retire immediately afterwards. It was an emotional but not entirely unexpected decision and the MMA community showed nothing but love. support and appreciation for the Swedish star.
“It means everything to me,” Gustafsson told MMAnytt’s Ashah Tafari about the support he received. “It truly softened the blow, in part to read comments from all the fans, all these good things nit’s incredibly touching when you read things like that. And even to my colleagues in the business, you know, who make their statements. So it was really big and it definitely softened the blow to get all that feedback.”
Gustafsson has since retirement signed a deal with Swedish MMA promotion AK Fighting Championship and is planning on laying his focus on the up-and-coming Swedish prospects of tomorrow. He will forever be intertwined with Swedish MMA, regardless of if his retirement is permanent or not. It’s unclear if the young Swedish talents can reach Gustafssons level, but they sure have the perfect role model to live up to.