Alexander Gustafsson retires from MMA after suffering loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm

Alexander Gustafsson

Two years after his last fight in his home nation, Alexander Gustafsson returned to Sweden for UFC Fight Night - not knowing it would be his final time as a competitor.

The Mauler knocked out Glover Teixeira in May 2017, a fight which would end up being his last win with the promotion.

A huge figure in the light heavyweight division, Gustafsson's breakout moment came at UFC 165 in defeat to Jon Jones.

In a bout that won Fight of the Year for 2013 and saw Jones rocked like he never had been before, Gustafsson won so many more fans around the world for his actions.

His form since that fight in September 2013 has been mixed to say the least though.

Gustafsson was KO'd by Anthony Johnson in-front of his home fans and lost by split decision in another title match - that time to Daniel Cormier - sandwiched in-between wins against Jimi Manuwa, Jan Blachowicz and Teixeira.

The Swede was decisively beaten by Jones in December 2018 in a sequel to their incredible bout five years prior, which would lead him to take on the last man 'Bones' had slaughtered - Anthony Smith.

Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith go at it in Stockholm

It didn't go Gustafsson's way though last night, as a rear-naked choke in round four forced him to submit in-front of his own people.

'Lionheart' Smith was graceful as ever post-fight, but Gustafsson seemingly signalled the end of his career.

Speaking following the loss, Gustafsson said: “It happened again. I lost in my own home. But it’s a sport. You do it because you love it, and it is what it is. Lionheart Anthony Smith, he’s tough as nails and a great guy.

Alexander Gustafsson walks away from the Octagon for the final time

“I just want to thank you all for coming out this night and supporting all of the fighters here. Every time the UFC comes back, it’s a highlight and it’s amazing to be here and compete and hear the cheers.”

'The Viking' then continued to say 'The show is over, guys,' before laying his gloves inside the Octagon, seemingly signalling his departure from MMA.

This was confirmed in the post-fight press conference, where he stated he 'doesn't have it in him anymore'.

“I felt it’s an honorable way to tell the crowd and the audience here tonight that this a decision I made,” said Gustafsson, per MMA Fighting.

“It’s still so fresh and everything. But I feel deep inside that I’ve been digging hard and training hard. I was so relaxed and calm and it was still not enough.

"I don’t know what to do to start winning again. Maybe if I have that feeling in me then there’s no point for me to continue.”

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