Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith are both looking to rebound from their losses to Jon Jones, but only one man will emerge victorious at UFC on ESPN+ 10.
Gustafsson, who has failed to capture the UFC light heavyweight title on three separate occasions, was recently knocked out by Jon Jones at UFC 232. ‘The Mauler’ also dropped a highly contested decision to ‘Bones’ back in 2013.
Smith, 30, was also recently defeated by Jones. ‘Lionheart’ challenged Jones in the UFC 235 main event but was dominated en-route to a unanimous decision loss.
Although he lost, Smith hung in there to the last bell and showcased lots of heart, which is something Gustafsson admires about the former title challenger.
Gustafsson is preparing for a gruelling fight against Smith and, if he loses, the Swede hinted that retirement could be an option.
“He’s a big hitter and he has a lot of heart and he has a lot of fights behind him,” Gustafsson said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “He’s a guy with a good team behind him, and this is going to be a real challenge. And that’s why I’m doing this, to challenge myself. When I beat him, I’m going to just move in the rankings. If I don’t beat him, if he beats me, then maybe I don’t have it anymore. So I’ll just take it from there.”
“I’m not the right guy to judge him,” Gustafsson continued. “I just fought Jon and lost myself. He showed some heart and he took some damage and just kept moving, so he’s a warrior and I can’t wait to have him over and give the fans a really good show.”
Gustafsson has flirted with retirement in the past, as the Swede has been competing professionally for almost twelve years and had his fair share battles in the Octagon.
UFC on ESPN+ 10, also known as UFC Fight Night 152, takes place later this year, June 1 at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.