Many people throughout the MMA world were surprised when Alexander Gustafsson announced he was retiring last year. There’s been talk recently that the longtime, light-heavyweight contender is reconsidering that decision, and now Gustafsson has a plan to determine if he’ll fight again.

Gustafsson plans to train in the “deep waters” of U.S. camps

The Swedish star raised eyebrows last June, when after he was submitted by Anthony Smith, he announced he was hanging up the gloves. Although leading up to that bout Gustafsson said a loss could indicate he was no longer a top contender, since he was only one bout removed from facing the champ Jon Jones, his retirement turned heads.

Well, since then, Gustafsson has said he still gets the “itch” to fight. In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Gustafsson confirmed that he’s still thinking about fighting, but that he wants to test himself in American gyms, before making a decision.

“I’m (going to be) honest with you: I’m 33 years old and I feel like I’ve got a couple more years in me,” Gustafsson said. “I just have to do it correctly this time, and I was actually looking to go to American before this coronavirus (expletive) happened – to go there and train just to get the feeling again and change the environment. I can’t give a yes or a no, but I’m training and it feels good.”

“It’s a mental thing,” Gustafsson said. “That’s the type of athlete I am. I love to be at home and I feel very comfortable being at home around my kids, and I go to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, we have some really tough guys in the gym. But you train with the same guys too long and you start knowing what the guys are going to do. That’s why we’re looking – not even for a fight camp – just go out there to America and train.

“I want to get tested again and get that feeling of being in deep waters. It motivates me a lot, too. It’s definitely a mental thing for me. I’m always prepared – my conditioning is always there and my strength, but it’s a mental thing.”

Sounds like a plan

So, this sounds like a pretty solid plan. Many fighters have benefited from changing camps and getting new looks from coaches and sparring partners. When you consider Gustafsson’s age, and his abilities, don’t be surprised if his training goes well and he decides to fight again. After all, “The Mauler” isn’t that long removed from impressive wins over Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: