Once it became clear that Alexander Gustafsson was not going to be getting an instant rematch against Jon Jones the question had to be asked: Who will the former title challenger be fighting next? One of the names brought forward was Phil Davis, as the two had previously fought some three years ago at UFC 112. The suggestion was roundly dismissed, however, as the two fighters have become good friends and training partners since then. It's amazing how a little motivation will change things.
Aftonbladet.se reports that Gustafsson has decided to leave Alliance MMA to set up camp back home in Sweden. The most prominent reason given was the increased demand on his schedule now that he is fighting more often and the high monetary cost of holding camps so far away from home. As one of the top contenders at light heavyweight it does make sense for Gustafsson to start developing a camp more tailored to his needs, but it wasn't the only reason Gustafsson gave. The fighter also went on the record to say that he could see a potential fight with Davis looming and felt like it would be a better idea if they weren't training at the same gym. He also noted that they train together much less often than they used to. Sounds like a battle of top contenders could be brewing.
Gustafsson's coach, Eric Del Fierro, also went on the record to MMAjunkie, stating that:
"I think the camp for Mousasi he did in Sweden, so we've been in communication in camp there," Del Fierro said. "I can't say what the plan is for the next camp, because I don't know."
"The kid's growing as an athlete in Sweden, and his ability to earn in Sweden is a lot bigger than it is in the U.S. His whole camp has progressed, and that's great. They've got a lot of talent over there, and hopefully, he's getting to a position where he doesn't have to leave his family."
No matter who Gustafsson's next opponent is it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are apparent in his fight preperation. What do you think? Is it ever a good sign when a fighter changes camp after a string of strong performances? Or will Gustafsson be helped by not flying halfway around the world to train with people who have other priorities than his own?
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