Since Alexander Gustafsson indicated a little while ago that his retirement could be short lived, it wasn’t a surprise to find out that he is in fact, returning to the UFC. But, not too many people seemed to call that ‘The Mauler’ would comeback as a heavyweight.

So why is the Swedish star doing so?

Gustafsson explains move to heavyweight

After Gustafsson was submitted by Anthony Smith last July, the perennial, light heavyweight contender surprised a lot of people by announcing he was retiring. Although Gustafsson had teased retirement in the past, since he is only 33, and because he was only one fight removed from a rematch with champion Jon Jones, the move was somewhat unexpected.

But, it wasn’t long before Gustafsson relayed that he was thinking about fighting again. More recently, the rugged fighter said he was planning to change up his training camp, as a means to see if he had the itch to still fight.

Well, the coronavirus pandemic may have impacted those plans, but regardless, Gustafsson is booked to fight on July 25th. The key point here, however, is that he’s fighting former heavyweight champ, Fabricio Werdum.

Recently Gustafssson spoke with MMA Viking, and the veteran fighter outlined why he’s decided to come back at heavyweight (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“I’m taking one fight at a time,” Gustafsson said. “I’m fighting Fabricio now in heavyweight, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay in heavyweight. We’re taking it one fight at a time and see what’s the next move.”

“We dropped a couple of names in heavyweight because I thought about it and it feels like that’s the best decision for me now,” Gustafsson added. “Because I’m pretty big at light heavyweight, and I always have to cut maybe 15, 17 kilos every fight so I just wanted to challenge myself a little bit and yeah, just to challenge me and see how all this will be and I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I’m eating pasta now. I’m feeling good. I weigh (236 pounds),” Gustafsson said. “I never felt so strong. I’m still keeping my skills as a light heavyweight, but I’m just feeling stronger.”


It will be interesting to see how Gustafsson looks and how he performs. Obviously if he beats a former champ like Werdum, folks will take notice.

While ‘Vai Cavalo’s’ lost two in a row, a win over the Brazilian could move Gustafsson into the top 15 of the heavyweight ranks, right away.


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I’m exited! Feeling confident! Feeling strong! Version 2.0 is coming.

A post shared by Alexander Gustafsson (@alexthemauler) on

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