It’s hard for Alexander Gustafsson to avoid questions about getting back into title contention considering the two championship fights he’s already had in the UFC.
Gustafsson gave Jon Jones the hardest test of his entire career before losing a very close decision to the former champion back in 2013. Then the Swedish-born light heavyweight duplicated that performance by taking Daniel Cormier into deep waters in their fight in 2015 but again Gustafsson came up short from taking home the belt.
Don't forget #UFC #FightNight209 airs tomorrow! The headline #fight between Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson @alex_themauler and Glover Teixeira @gloverteixeira should be a real crowd pleaser — who do you think will come out on top? Don't miss UFC Fight Night 109: #GustafssonvsTeixeira tomorrow, Sunday May 28 on #FoxSports1 at 1pm ET. #UFCFightNight #UFC109 #MMA #MixedMartialArts #MLMMA #MustLoveMMA #SusanCingari #DanaWhite #CombatSports #Boxing #Kickboxing #BJJ #Wrestling #MartialArts #MMAFighter #Fighter #UltimateFightingChampionship #TeixeiravsGustafsson #AlexanderGustafsson #TheMauler #GloverTeixeira #twitter @ufc @danawhite @dlockettufc
As he approaches his next fight against Glover Teixeira in his home country, Gustafsson would love nothing more than to get a third shot at the gold but none of that will happen if he loses on Sunday.
“Of course, I want to fight Jon Jones. Of course, I want to fight D.C. for the belt. But I know Glover is there and that’s my only concern,” Gustafsson told FOX Sports.
“I just try to focus on the right things. Nothing else. I’ve done it before. It’s not my first tour. I’m feeling good and I can’t wait.”
As much as another title fight might be on the horizon for Gustafsson, his major concern this weekend is not only beating Teixeira but redeeming himself in Sweden.
The last time Gustafsson fought on home soil the stakes were very similar with a potential title fight looming overhead but on that night he suffered a knockout loss to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Gustafsson never wants to make that mistake again so he’s getting ready for anything and everything that Teixeira might throw at him.
“He’s going to come out early and try to finish me. He’s going to come out and try to make a slugfest of everything,” Gustafsson said about Teixeira. “Whatever it takes. I’ve got five rounds in me or I could finish him in the first round.
“The only thing I want to make sure of is to get the ‘W’. That’s all I’m focusing on.”
Gustafsson isn’t in the Conor McGregor business where he tries to call his shot before stepping into the Octagon, but there is a simmering confidence bubbling up from the 30-year old veteran going into Sunday.
As much as he respects what Teixeira brings to the table, Gustafsson knows he has more ways to win this fight and that’s what’s going to put him over the top to get a win in the main event.
“I’m going to win. That’s all I see,” Gustafsson said. “I’m going to win a decision. I can win with a submission, a knockout, a TKO. No matter what, I’m not leaving the Octagon without the win.”
Gustafsson faces Teixeira in the main event at UFC Fight Night from Sweden on Sunday with the main card kicking off at 1 p.m. ET on FS1.