Light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson has inked a new UFC deal. “The Mauler” broke the news on Tuesday via Instagram. The 31-year old Swede characterized the deal as the “biggest of his career.”
“While others are talking about retirement, I just signed my new deal with the UFC today. I am grateful, excited, and I will be fighting very soon,” he wrote. “Soon to be the world champion!”
While others are talking about retirement, I just signed my new deal with the @ufc today. I am grateful, excited, and I will be fighting very soon! I need to thank my family, my team @wesportagency and @allstarsgymsweden . I would also like to give a special thank you to my fight management @neems01 and @majdishammas at Moments Sports Management for securing the biggest deal of my career. Soon to be the world champion!!! ??#soontobeworldchamp #team #loyalty #family
Gustafsson (18-4) last fought in May 2017, defeating Glover Teixeira by way of knockout. He’s been sidelined ever since while recovering from shoulder surgery.
He’s fought for the 205-pound title twice, losing to Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier in razor-close decisions on both occasions. He’s currently riding a two-fight winning streak and is the top contender in the light heavyweight division.
While he has long wanted a rematch with both Jones and Cormier, Jones has been on the sidelines, embroiled in an anti-doping violation. Cormier has been active, coming off of a title defense against Volkan Oezdemir in January, but he is now scheduled for the biggest fight of his career. Cormier will challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title in the UFC 226 main event on July 7 in a champion versus champion match-up.
In the meantime, Gustafsson has been lobbying for an interim light heavyweight title since Cormier’s future is unclear and he has remained steadfast that he will retire when he turns 40 in March of 2019. Upon announcing his re-signing, Gustafsson did not elaborate on who might be his next opponent.