Last May, Alexander Gustafsson hinted at a possible return to fighting. Now, it’s being reported that Gustafsson will make his comeback in the light heavyweight division against Paul Craig on September 4th.
When it comes to MMA fighters and retirement, it’s usually not an iron-clad decision. Many fighters who have stated they would retire have seemingly made their way back to the octagon, looking back in the archives. For example, fighters like Conor McGregor, Georges St Pierre, and Brock Lesnar have told fans they would leave the sport. However, they all came back to return fighting, all having varying levels of success in their return.
Gustafsson Returns to UFC Against Paul Craig
Gustafsson retired last June, after his second straight loss against Anthony Smith. During the fight, he lost in the fourth round from a rear-naked choke. A year later, he would come out of retirement and make his heavyweight debut against Fabrício Werdum.
— Marcel Dorff 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) July 1, 2021
Tale of the Tape
While “The Mauler” is mostly known for his performance against Jon Jones, it’s been a rocky career since that moment. Currently, Gustafsson is on a three-fight losing streak in his career. Before the aforementioned fight against Werdum, Gustafsson was finished by both Anthony Smith and Jon Jones during their rematch at UFC 232.
Craig, however, would be on a five-fight win streak if it wasn’t for a draw against Shogun Rua. The draw was redeemed once Craig fought Rua again and TKO’d him at UFC 255.
As of now, the card that the pair are fighting on is incomplete. However, here’s a look at the fights on the card that have been announced so far:
Light Heavyweight bout: Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Modestas Bukauskas
Light Heavyweight bout: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Paul Craig
Bantamweight bout: Nathaniel Wood vs. Jonathan Martinez