Gustafsson drew widespread praise for his thrilling and bloody scrap with Cormier earlier this month, which saw the latter retain the light-heavyweight title via split decision. It marked the second time Gustafsson has been involved in an instant classic, title fight, as in 2013 he pushed Jon Jones to his limits for five rounds. Gustafsson lost that fight via unanimous decision.
While Gustafsson has become a big star because of his abilities, and ridiculous toughness, the Swedish fighter won’t be happy with gate keeper status. Recently he spoke to the Swedish outlet Allehande, and here is some of what Gustafsson had to say about his memorable defeats (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“I do not want to be a journeyman,” Gustafsson said “I do not want to be a fighter that people should turn to get a title fight. I do not want to be in fights where people see me as an obstacle on the road. I want to be the man challenging. I’m not satisfied with being ranked second and third.”
“I will hold on as long as I know I have the potential to be the best,” Gustafsson said. “If there will come a day when I feel I can not go any further than this, that day I stop. Then I put the gloves on the shelf. But I feel that there’s more to download. I know I can be better. I know I have the potential to beat ‘DC.’ I know I can beat Jon Jones. It’s just about figuring this out last.”
If you’re a Gustafsson fan, then chances are these comments are ringing true with you and then some. After all, it’s not like Gustafsson was overwhelmed by either Jones or Cormier. He battled two of the planet’s top fighters for 25 minutes straight, and was within reach of grabbing the 205 title.
Now it will be interesting to see who Gustafsson fights next, and when.