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Alexander Gustafsson is the fighter to observe at UFC London

Time can change some issues. however, it will probably change info and one truth is that the UFC mild heavyweight division. Shouldn’t be now — nor was it ever — Alexander Gustafsson’s division.

Gustafsson, who returns to the octagon for the primary time since July 2020. And competes for the primary time at 205 kilos since June 2019, made the above declare within the days main as much as his battle reverse the No. 11 ranked mild heavyweight, Nikita Krylov. Gustafsson, who claimed possession of the division, is unranked.

Gustafsson was in two of the best fights in UFC mild heavyweight historical past. His 2013 scrap reverse Jon Jones and his 2015 matchup in opposition to Daniel Cormier — he was the title challenger in each of these contests. Gustafsson did not get his hand raised in both outings.

Following the loss to Cormier at UFC 192, Gustafsson defeated Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira to get a second shot at Jones and the (then vacant) mild heavyweight crown, however, Jones knocked Gustafsson out within the third spherical of that bout.

Gustafsson adopted that TKO loss with a submission defeat to Anthony Smith in June 2019. The Swedish fighter, who headlined that card in his house nation, retired after the loss.

An emotional Gustafsson took his gloves off after the battle and informed UFC commentator Dan Hardy contained in the octagon, “the present is over, guys” as he dropped his mitts to the canvas.

Gustafsson fell from the No. 2 rating to No. 4 within the official UFC mild heavyweight rankings following his loss to Smith. He remained within the rankings till late July 2020. Gustafsson was on the No. 7 spot earlier than the UFC eliminated him from the official mild heavyweight rankings. That elimination adopted his return to motion. On July 26, 2020, Fabricio Werdum submitted Gustafsson through an armbar in a heavyweight matchup. Gustafsson has been in some wars throughout his MMA profession, however, at 35, he’s not an outdated mild heavyweight. In reality, not one of the fighters ranked contained in the top-10 within the newest version of the UFC 205-pound rankings is underneath 30 and three ranked fighters — Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos are older than Gustafsson. Which is to say, whereas the division shouldn’t be his, there’s nonetheless time for Gustafsson to make it his.

A victory on the UFC London card in opposition to Krylov steps one in turning that dream into actuality for the previous title challenger. The 30-year-old Krylov is 2-4 in his previous six outings and driving a two-fight dropping skid. His most up-to-date bout led to Paul Craig submitting him in 3:57 in March.

If Gustafsson is to make one other run to the highest of the division, he should beat Krylov. There’s no query about that. The oddsmakers don’t see that taking place. Krylov is a 2-1 favorite over Gustafsson forward of their matchup on the 02 Environment in London.

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