Alexander Gustafsson surprised many when he walked away from MMA after losing submission to Anthony Smith a year ago, but now “The Mauler” is coming out of hibernation to try the heavyweight division in full swing UFC growth, according to a recent report by MMA Junkie (The Brazilian newspaper Combate originally announced the news).
Although nothing is official, Gustafsson is set to face former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum on July 25 on UFC Fight Island, an undetermined location.
Gustafsson, 33, is widely regarded as one of the best UFC light heavyweights of all time who has never won a title. With title shots against legendary champions like Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, it’s no wonder “Mauler” struggled to win the biggest. Gustafsson won his last UFC title against Jones at UFC 232, which saw “Bones” win via the third round TKO.
Aside from losing his last two appearances inside the Octagon, Gustafsson is expected to make a great addition to the heavyweight division of the UFC. The imposing Swede most certainly has the physical attributes to compete with the greatest fighters on the list, but it will be interesting to see how motivated and dedicated the retired light heavyweight is after his retirement.
The arrival of Gustafsson’s heavyweights could not have come at a better time as Cormier is in a retirement fight, the current UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, is months away from the competition, and Jones has just seen his candidacy for a heavyweight movement dramatically refused.
The upcoming UFC event on July 25 already includes a middleweight clash between former champion Robert Whittaker and former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till.
Stay with Mania for more news on Gustafsson’s return.