Alexander Gustafsson to Return on June 20th
The Swedish Mauler can’t wait to redeem himself inside the Octagon. He now has a date and opponent readied for that day.
Former Title Contenders
UFC President Dana White confirmed last Monday that former UFC light heavyweight number one contender Alexander Gustafsson will return to the Octagon on June 20th to face former title challenger Glover Texeira at the main event of UFC Fight Night 69 at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany.
Gustaffson is coming off a shocking first round knockout loss to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson last January 24 in the main event of UFC on Fox at Gustafsson’s hometown of Stockholm, Sweden. The bout was for a guaranteed title shot against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones but instead, Gustafsson was left pondering about his place in the weight class.
Losing to Jon Jones
Two fights prior to that loss, Gustafsson gave Jon Jones the fight of his life by taking the champion to the five round limit during their title bout at UFC 165 in September of 2013. However, despite many fans and experts who picked him as the winner of the bout, the judges awarded Jones a close but unanimous decision that was talked about all over the world.
Gustafsson bounced back from that heart-breaking loss with a huge second round TKO of Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37 last March 8, 2014. After that, Gustafsson was linked to a rematch with Jones in Sweden. That fight was finalized and was slated for UFC 178 in Las Vegas. But Gustafsson pulled out of the bout with a torn meniscus and he was replaced by Daniel Cormier whom Jones beat at UFC 182 last January 3 after their UFC 178 bout was postponed.
Ready For Redemption
On the other hand, Glover Texeira stormed his way to the UFC rankings with four stoppages in his first five UFC bouts. Texeira challenged Jon Jones for the UFC belt at UFC 172 and clearly lost a unanimous decision to the champion. He returned to action six months later at UFC 179 but lost another clear unanimous decision to Phil Davis who out-wrestled him. At 35 and age no longer his friend, Texeira needed a big fight if he were to return to title contention. The fight against Gustafsson is right on the button.
Although he is only 28 years old, Gustafsson needed a big fight like this not only to get back to the title conversation but to recover his confidence. Gustafsson recently told Expressen.se that he nearly quit MMA after the devastating loss to Johnson. He said that more than not getting a shot at the title, he was so ashamed of losing in front of his home crowd and even family. So when the fight with Texeira was booked, the Swedish Mauler couldn’t have been more excited to get back to UFC action.
With both fighters ready for redemption, we can expect an explosive confrontation on June 20 between two of the light heavyweight divisions hardest hitters.
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