With his gutsy performance against Jon Jones at UFC 165, Alexander Gustafsson established himself as one of the elite fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Gustafsson gave Jones his toughest test to date, breaking his then-perfect takedown defense record while proving to be an incredibly tough opponent to put on his back.
The fight was so close, fans rallied for an automatic rematch; even though challengers rarely ever get an immediate second try except in the case of a clear robbery.
Not surprising, UFC matchmakers decided to put Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 on hold, scheduling the longest reigning light-heavyweight champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history to defend his belt against Glover Teixeira next on Feb. 1 at UFC 169.
Still waiting for his next opponent, Alexander Gustafsson has now decided to move his training camp back to his native Sweden, parting ways with Alliance MMA and training partner Phil Davis — the man many credit for Alexander’s improved wrestling which was evident at UFC 165, the man who handed Gustafsson his first loss inside the Octagon.
“It’s time to come home,” Gustafsson told aftonbladet.se. “Now I’m in that stage of my career that I will compete three or four times a year so I cannot hold on and go off all the time. It costs too much and it takes too much time away from my family. It’s simply not worth it. It might as well get used to having the whole training camps here in Sweden and create the routine here. Now, I am in a position that I can fly in the quality sparring I personally want that I was not able to before. It will develop my skills even more.”
Alexander Gustafsson was surprisingly candid during the interview, admitting that the possibility of a fight against Davis down the road also influenced his decision.
“We do not train with each other as much anymore,” Gustafsson said about his close pal. “We both belong at the top and it’s not difficult to guess that we’ll meet again soon. He’s not a dream opponent because we are friends, but if the UFC decides that we should [fight], it would happen. So it feels better to not train together right now.”
Alexander’s decision sure makes things a lot easier for UFC matchmakers.