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Report: Alexander Gustafsson returning to light heavyweight against Paul Craig

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The ‘Mauler’ is rebooting his MMA career once again, but it looks like his heavyweight experiment was a one and done.

Alexander Gustafsson reacts to his 2020 loss to Fabricio Werdum.
Alexander Gustafsson reacts to his 2020 loss to Fabricio Werdum.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

At one time a seemingly perennial title contender, MMA has not been kind to Alexander Gustafsson lately. Still only 34-years-old, the ‘Mauler’ has competed just nine times in the last eight years, putting together a 3-6 record in the Octagon—and currently riding a three-fight losing streak.

The Allstars Training Center athlete was last seen in July of 2020, in a heavyweight contest against former champ Fabricio Werdum. That fight came after another year of absence during which Gustafsson seemed to be washing his hands of mixed martial arts altogether. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, however. And the Swede decided to try and reignite his passion for MMA up a division at 265 lbs. Werdum won the fight via first round submission.

And while Gustafsson didn’t sound like he was about to walk away once again after tasting defeat, another year on the sidelines seems to have pushed him back down to the division where he spent the bulk of his career.

Swedish MMA site FrontKick reports that Gustafsson is targeting a return to the cage this coming September at a planned UFC Fight Night event. There he’ll be facing streaking Scottish light heavyweight talent Paul Craig.

‘Bearjew’ is fresh off a first round submission victory over Jamahal Hill at UFC 263. The win was the Scottish Hit Squad talent’s third straight in the Octagon, putting him on a five-fight unbeaten streak, including a 2019 draw to Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.

UFC Fight Night 193 is set to take place on September 4th. The event has yet to be given an official location or headlining bout. A light heavyweight fight between Khalil Rountree and Modestas Bukauskas has also been penciled in for the card, along with a bantamweight bout between Nathaniel Wood and Jonathan Martinez. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates as they become available.