After Alexander Gustafsson’s brilliant performance in his thrilling and narrow decision-loss to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 165, plenty of credit for the Swedish fighter’s development was given to his training at Alliance MMA. Well, that relationship has now been severed.
Gustafsson, who became an overnight star by giving “Bones” the toughest fight of his career, has decided that he will now train back in his homeland from this point on. He moved to California to train at Alliance after losing to Phil Davis at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
The reasoning behind the move made sense back in 2010. Gustafsson was a young up and comer who decided that he needed to develop a better overall skill set after suffering his first career loss. Training with a stellar wrestler like Davis certainly took Gustafsson to another level. It was most evident against Jones with his tremendous takedown defense and also in becoming the only man to ever take the champ to the mat.
With Davis ranked third in the 205-pound weight class, it’s a definite possibility that a rematch between these two talented fighters could happen. Gustafsson says they didn’t train together as much as they used to because of the circumstances. In an interview with Swedish tabloid, Aftonbladet, Gustafsson says a matchup against Davis wouldn’t be his dream opponent because of their friendship, but would understand if the UFC were to go in that direction.
Gustafsson definitely has plenty on his plate in the wake of his tremendous effort in Toronto. He’s in line for a homecoming fight in Sweden in the early part of 2014, and while the Jones rematch won’t happen right away, it remains a highly anticipated and no doubt lucrative possibility.
With Gustafsson’s desire to stay busy, he says he will fly over training partners as it will reduce his costs and also would allow him to spend more time with his family. Once again, the move is based on sound reasoning, but it does lead one to wonder whether the UFC has designs on “The Mauler” and “Mr. Wonderful” squaring off in the Octagon sooner, rather than later.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports