Alexander Gustafsson was a very active fighter until 2013.
That’s the year Gustafsson went five rounds with then-UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in September. We didn’t see “The Mauler” again until early in 2014 when he defeated Jimi Manuwa.
Injuries, fight changes and legal matters all plagued Gustafsson (16-4) and the division since, leading to just two bouts for the Swede – both of which were losses. He was finished by Anthony Johnson last January in a bout to determine the No. 1 contender to the title, while a split decision in October cost him the belt vs. Daniel Cormier.
“I will fight in 2016,” said Gustafsson, appearing on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “I just need a little bit of time to get on my feet and get my mind and motivation right.
“I just want to fight for the right reasons. You will see me fight this year.”
Gustafsson has re-located back to California to train with the team at Alliance MMA. That includes UFC champion Dominick Cruz and many of the same fighters and trainers who helped him earn that first title shot and win 15 of his first 16 pro fights.
“Now I’m in San Diego to change my environment a little bit,” he added. “I’m feeling good.”