Alexander Gustafsson reacts to Hall of Fame inclusion: “A great honour”
Last week, in conjunction with UFC 248, the UFC 165 light heavyweight title bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, Fight Wing. It was somewhat expected, as their five round battle has been hailed as one of the best fights in UFC history.
On a calm September day in 2013, Swedish star Gustafsson challenged Jones for the title. Nobody gave the challenger much of a shot against the dominant American champion – An assumption that would be incredibly wrong. From the very start Gustafsson took the fight to the champion, pushing the pace, opening a cut on Jones and even scoring a takedown. The fight remained competitive and exciting, with momentum swinging back and forth. In the end Jones was awarded a decision win, but Gustafsson had won the hearts of the MMA community.
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“It’s a great honour. That fight was a turning point in my career even though it was a loss on my part. The fight took me and Swedish MMA to new heights. To now be able to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and be praised amongst the sports legends feels amazing,” Gustafsson told MMAnytt.
Gustafsson retired last year following a submission loss to Anthony Smith in Stockholm. He has, however, hinted at a comeback on multiple occasions. Last year a source told MMAnytt that Gustafsson was in training for a UFC return, which is slated for later this year.
Meanwhile Jones has continued his run as light heavyweight champion, albeit with a string of controversies amidst his reign. He has been stripped of the title twice, has tested positive for traces of banned substances and has been substantially tested in the cage. His past two bouts showed him dig as deep as he was forced to at UFC 165. In fact, his most recent win over Dominick Reyes was highly contested by both fans and pundits alike, who felt that the challenger had done enough to win the fight.
Perhaps this Hall of Fame induction will speed up Gustafsson’s return to the octagon.