Alexander Gustafsson is officially retiring…we can try and act sad about it, but the truth is we’re not. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great fighter and all. He never lived up to his expectations though. His talent level was much higher than what he showed us. He was a simple gatekeeper in my opinion. While it is sad to see him go, I just don’t want to get too dramatic about it. Let’s pay him his respect and call it a night.
Gustafsson participated in the main event of UFC Fight Night 153 against Anthony Smith. He got knocked out in the fourth round. This was supposed to be a bounce back fight for Gustafson, but he got bounced out instead. He retired from MMA after the fight.
Technically speaking, Gustafsson will always be at the top of the light heavyweight division. His boxing is as good as they come for that weight class. He just does not have the explosiveness he used to. His jaw has deteriorated to a massive extent as well. I thought he would absolutely fly by Anthony Smith. UFC Fight Night 153 proved that Gustafsson just can’t hang with explosive fighters. In today’s MMA game, you need more than just technical ability. You need a higher degree of athleticism as well.
Gustafsson didn’t look AWFUL. He hung in that fight for quite some time until Smith finally broke through and finished him. His foot movement looked outstanding as usual. He was circling around the octagon firing shots, but Smith was coming at him from different angles. If we’re being quite honest, he probably doesn’t need to retire. He’s still a gatekeeper level fighter in that division (top 7). I don’t think he’s FOR SURE calling it quits. That’s probably why I’m a little insensitive to the matter.
I do expect Gustafsson to be back at some point in the future. He’s too talented to call it quits at this point. He still has some gas left in the tank. I mean, he’s not getting thrashed around by any random fighter in that division.
Gustafsson has had a respectable career up until this point, I will say that. He’s the fighter who came closest to defeating Jon Jones. He competed against the best light heavyweights of all time throughout his prime. He came up short against Daniel Cormier as well, almost beating him. The fact of the matter is that he just is not good enough to beat the top level fighters in that division. This proves my theory that technical ability only gets you so far in today’s day and age.
So with that, I apologize for being a little insensitive to the matter, but that’s just how I feel. Now we can officially say Gustafsson is officially out of Jon Jones’ way. Jones doesn’t have to worry anymore (LOL).