Longtime UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson suffered a disappointing submission defeat to Anthony Smith in front of his home fans at UFC Stockholm. The crowd fell silent immediately after he tapped out, as their countryman dropped a second consecutive bout. In the post-fight interview, Gustafsson left his gloves in the cage, signaling his retirement from the sport.
Gustafsson later confirmed his intentions to call it a career, albeit not on a high note. The three-time title challenger notably lost twice to Jon Jones, with the first one a hotly-debated decision in an MMA classic. Jones easily dispatched of Gustafsson in the rematch at UFC 232, but history will show that Gustafsson gave Jones the hardest fight of his career, and Jones was among those who reacted to Gus’ retirement announcement.
“Honestly I don’t believe you but if you’re serious, thank you for everything,” Jones wrote. “You held the division to a standard and made us better. Go kick ass with that Family.”
Gustafsson exits MMA with a record of 18-6 (10-6 in the UFC), spanning all the way back to 2007. The 32-year-old has notably beaten Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa, Mauricio Rua, Thiago Silva, and Matt Hamill throughout his career.