Alexander Gustafsson may be returning as a heavyweight, but it likely won’t be his new home.
Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC), who announced his retirement last June, is returning just over a year later when he faces Fabricio Werdum in the UFC’s July 25 event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The three-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger explains that the decision to move up in weight was inspired mainly because of his strenuous cut down to 205 pounds.
“I’m taking one fight at a time,” Gustafsson told MMA Viking. “I’m fighting Fabricio now in heavyweight, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay in heavyweight. We’re taking it one fight at a time and see what’s the next move.”
“We dropped a couple of names in heavyweight because I thought about it and it feels like that’s the best decision for me now,” Gustafsson added. “Because I’m pretty big at light heavyweight, and I always have to cut maybe 15, 17 kilos every fight so I just wanted to challenge myself a little bit and yeah, just to challenge me and see how all this will be and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gustafsson has certainly packed on some size, which he flaunted in a recent <a href=”
“I’m eating pasta now. I’m feeling good. I weigh (236 pounds),” Gustafsson said. “I never felt so strong. I’m still keeping my skills as a light heavyweight, but I’m just feeling stronger.”
He takes on Werdum, who recently returned from a two-year long layoff at UFC 249 in May, where he suffered a split decision loss to Aleksei Oleinik.
While Gustaffson admits that he wasn’t impressed with Werdum’s performance, he won’t underestimate him.
“It was terrible,” Gustafsson said. “I think it was a terrible fight. With that said, Aleksei is a tough guy he fought, but I think even if – Fabricio he can take a punch, he can take damage and he just keeps coming forward. He’s a legit blackbelt and he has really good single-leg takedowns. He comes in with his strange kicks and knees, it’s a guy I have to be prepared for and aware of those tricks.”