Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson rethinking retirement, interested in fight with Luke Rockhold
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Hold your horses, Alexander Gustafsson might not be done after all. Earlier this year, after suffering a comeback loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm, Gustafsson officially retired from MMA, saying that he competed in MMA to be the best and he no longer felt that was in him. It was a shocking revelation from the perennial light heavyweight contender and now it might not be the case. Speaking with MMAViking at his gym, Allstars Training Center, in Stockholm, Gustafsson revealed that he’s in talks with the UFC about coming back and that the feelings he had about retiring went away pretty quickly. “I’m talking with the UFC, we are going back and forth,” Gustafsson said. “It came quite fast… I was home for a couple days, and I had itching in my hands and wanted to get back and train.” Perhaps instead of a full blown retirement, all Gustafsson really needed was some time off, away from the pressures of the fight game. After all, the Swedish star is only 32 years old and is still considered one of the best light heavyweights in the game. However, Gustafsson jokes that he might not be a 205er anymore after his summer off and that he’s not sure if he’ll return as a light heavyweight or a heavyweight. “I’m about 240-245 lbs. I’m a heavyweight right now” Gustafsson said about his weight. “I’ve had a good time with family and friends. It has been a good two and half months. I am in no man’s land. I just want to train and get into shape. Let’s see how it goes.” A move to heavyweight could be just what Gustafsson needs to rejuvenate his career, having already lost twice to light heavyweight king Jon Jones. But before he goes for that, Gustafsson says there’s one guy he’d particularly be interested in fight, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. “Luke Rockhold would be a good payday,” Gustafsson said. “Would love a fight. A fight against Luke would be a great way to comeback. He is a tough guy, a legend.” Earlier this year, Rockhold had been calling out Gustafsson for his move to 205 pounds. Gustafsson responded, calling Rockhold chinny and saying he’d be happy to oblige him. But instead, Rockhold faced Jan Blachowicz and proved Gustafsson’s words true when he was knocked out cold in the second round. Now though, with Gustafsson himself coming off two losses in a row and retirement, the fight would make more sense and give Gustafsson a chance to work things out. “We are trying to figure out what I do wrong in competitions,” Gustafsson said. “I felt so good before the last fight. Something is not right, and I need to fix it.” Given his recent run, Luke Rockhold might be the perfect opponent to help him do just that. MUST-READ STORIESLong reign. Coach expects long reign for Weili Zhang after impressive UFC title win. Statement. Jessica Andrade releases lengthy statement following UFC Shenzhen loss to Weili Zhang. DWTS. Video: Watch Junior dos Santos’ Dancing With The Stars debut. Hot Tweets. Why is Darren Till fighting Kelvin Gastelum and Khabib Nurmagomedov as GOAT. VIDEO STEWThis Is An MMA News Show. Embedded. The biggest free fight in UFC history, with new angles of the fence jump. Fighters pick Khabib vs. Poirier. Stylebender fight camp. Masvidal discussing the origin of “Gamebred”. Melvin KOs a dude while he’s bounding at a bar, AKA the reverse B.J. Penn. LISTEN UPThe Co-Main Event. Discussing Weili Zhang’s win and looking at Khabib vs. Dustin. Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC Shenzhen and previewing UFC 242. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSEDancing fiend. JDS - Domingão do Faustão pic.twitter.com/byYB2GA5T6 — Streetfight Bancho (@streetfitebanch) September 2, 2019Belal got him. View this post on Instagram me and @JFlashGordonMMA pranked @felderpaul introduce him to our friend but we told him he was a prince so you have to kiss his hand A post shared by Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) on Sep 2, 2019 at 9:43am PDT Aljo hinting at a fight. View this post on Instagram Labor Day Training! Just under 9 weeks out??? • #BendTheKnee #LaborDay #Lifestyle #StrongIsland #MondayMotivation #TheGrind #FunkGotNext #UFC #ESPN #MMA A post shared by Aljamain Sterling (@funkmaster_ufc) on Sep 2, 2019 at 8:04am PDT This is one way to call someone out. I can’t take it anymore. @paigevanzant keeps acting like a super star but her actions lately prove that she’s just stupid star. @ufc match me up with this . There's a better blonde in town that actually wants to . — Justine Kish (@JustineKish) September 2, 2019Remember when Rumble was a welterweight. Good lord. Rumble : you got a partner this round Me: yeah I’m going with him Rumble : who Me: oh he’s imaginary . I’m good thank !@365hardknocks pic.twitter.com/i4dITqeCz6 — Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) September 2, 2019Poor RDA. Never got his red panty night. View this post on Instagram Found some cool stuff on my garage today. Who think this fight still need to go down ♂️|||| Achei uma coisas muito legais no minha garagem hoje. Quem aí acha que essa luta tem que acontecer um dia. A post shared by Rafael Dos Anjos (@rdosanjosmma) on Sep 2, 2019 at 8:42pm PDT Why is that picture of the bunny framed and in Sage’s house? Highschool Letterman pic.twitter.com/diKGlP499K — Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) September 2, 2019Also, apparently Raymond Daniels married Sage’s sister? View this post on Instagram My official new bro @rd_goat and my sister @colbeynorthcutt A post shared by Super Sage Northcutt (@supersagenorthcutt) on Sep 2, 2019 at 11:50am PDT Bader still going strong with the pranks. Headed to Cali for the fight. My bro in law is ready pic.twitter.com/wUhiB3TGgB — Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) September 2, 2019Mike Perry needs a new skateboard. View this post on Instagram Watch this shit lmao can’t even practice new hobbies A post shared by Platinum Mike Perry (@platinummikeperry) on Sep 2, 2019 at 3:19pm PDT MMA gender reveal. A baby girl! #DangerThings #DaddyThings pic.twitter.com/3kgz5TxZ7l — Matt Schnell (@DANGER_Caged) September 2, 2019FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTSSergei Kharitonov (30-7, 2 NC) vs. Linton Vassell (19-8, 1 NC); Bellator 234, Nov. 14. FINAL THOUGHTSThanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow. EXIT POLLIf you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.