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Alexander Gustafsson: “Jones can fight whoever he wants – I will be waiting for him”
UFC 165 went down a few weeks ago, although in the fast-moving world of MMA it may seem like an eternity. That is because in this sport, the saying is ‘you’re only as good as your last fight’.
In the case of Alexander Gustafsson, that is really good. The Swedish light heavyweight narrowly missed out on beating Jon Jones at UFC 165, pushing the champion closer than any other fighter has to date. Ultimately, the fans called for a rematch which Jones chose not to take. Instead, Jones will fight Glover Teixera in early 2014 and Gustafsson will headline a card in his native land. Gustafsson was a guest on this week’s Sucka Radio, the podcast co-promoted by MMAOpinion and MMASucka. He admitted he was disappointed at not getting his title rematch and admitted he really doesn’t care what Jones said about their fight – he isn’t going anywhere.
“Of course I’m disappointed.” Gustafsson told Sucka Radio. “I wanted an immediate rematch but it is what it is. He can fight whoever he wants, for however long he wants. I will always be here waiting for him. I will fight whoever the UFC give me next and after that I want another shot at the title. But I guess we will have to see what happens (with our fights). I am training and teaching; building my body back up for strength. I am ready whenever the UFC contacts me. It won’t matter what he says. I will train and fight whoever the UFC wants me to. He can’t stay away from me, I will be around and when it is my time, I will be more than ready”
Gustafsson showed in the Jones fight some marked improvement in his wrestling both offensively and defensively. Jones was only able to take Gustafsson down once in 25 minutes. The Swede also became the first person to put Jones on his back inside the UFC. Gustafsson revealed the improvement comes down to his extensive work on that part of his game and although he was succesful against Jones in large parts, he can’t watch the fight all the way through yet.
” I never watched the fight, maybe once but not all the way through the full fight. I couldn’t watch it. I can’t watch it because I basically lost the fight, I will sit down with my team eventually and we will try to break it down to try to see what I can do better.” Gustafsson also talked about his wrestling improvement to Sucka Radio. ” I have been working with a lot of good wrestlers in Sweden, a lot of good guys. You know it comes with the hard work that I put in. I felt so great with my takedown defense in the fight and I will continue working on that as well as everything else.”
Gustafsson has built an impressive resume since hitting the UFC back in 2009, going 8-2 inside the promotion. His improvements have been significantly placed with his involvement with Alliance MMA in San Diego. Rumors circulated last week that ‘The Mauler’ had split with the camp, Gustafsson denied this citing a misunderstanding of how much he is at Alliance as being the reason.
“(Those rumors) are totally wrong, not right at all. I never left Alliance.” Gustafsson revealed to Ian Bain on Sucka Radio. “The thing is that people don’t understand that I am based in Sweden. I live in Sweden. I am training out of All Stars Gym in Stockholm and I am here 95% of the time. I do go and have camps in Alliance, usually for a week or so. I am very close to the team and I am still with Alliance. We have a great relationship. There is also a great relationship between All Star in Stockholm and Alliance in San Diego. I have everyday communication with Alliance Head Coach, Eric Del Fiero. They are always in my corner so no I have not left. What I meant in that interview was that I will probably do my next camp in Sweden because I probably will be fighting in Sweden. But I have no opponent for that yet.”
One notable factor from his Alliance association is that he will not fight Phil Davis, despite speculation that he was open to it. Gustafsson moved to put out the flames on the idea of that fight.
“No, I will not fight Phil Davis, he is my friend and team-mate. So I will not fight him. But if it is for a belt and he wants to fight for the belt, then we will talk about that question then”
To hear the full interview on Sucka Radio, check it out here: