Everyone knows that Alexander Gustafsson incurred a crucial setback when he faced Anthony Johnson, but now the light-heavyweight has revealed just how devastating the loss was.
Gustafsson battled Johnson at UFC on FOX 14, which went down in his native Sweden, and in front of a huge crowd. In addition, the bout was a title shot eliminator, as the winner would move on to face champion Jon Jones. All the cards were in place for Gustafsson to score a huge and memorable victory, but “The Mauler” was taken out by “Rumble” in the opening round.
“It has definitely been my most difficult period in life so far. I was completely serious about quitting MMA. I don’t care really about the title, it was that it happened in front of my home crowd. My cousins were in place. It just took it too hard. I didn’t have the will to continue. I was really close to quitting. But I have received so much love from fans, loved ones and my team. I had to bite the sour apple and now I have a new fight that made me very motivated. If I had not wanted to do this anymore, I would have stopped. But I want to continue. There is no doubt about it. No one is forcing me. I’m not doing this for money, but to be the best in the world.”
Wow. Obviously that would have been a shame if Gustaffson had decided to hang up the gloves, as the Swedish star is just 28 years-old and is one of the planet’s best 205’ers.
Up next, Gustafsson will take on fellow contender Glover Teixeira, and that bout will go down on June 20th in Berlin, Germany.
Johnson, meanwhile, will challenge Jones on May 23rd at UFC 187.