[EXCLUSIVE] The Mauler’s Mindset: Win Every Fight and Take the Belt Home to Sweden
STUDIO MMA, RIVERSIDE, CA – Top contender Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson battles former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the co-main event on December 8th at UFC on FOX 5. The location and venue will be announced in the following weeks. Studio MMA had the opportunity to interview the Swedish 205-pounder, who many believe will soon challenge Jon Jones.
“My heartbeat just hit max”, Gustafsson said when he got the call to face “Shogun” (StudioMMA.com). “It feels awesome, lots of thoughts and emotions.”
“Shogun” recently knocked out Gustafsson’s Alliance team-member, Brandon Vera, earlier this month at UFC on FOX 4.
“[Shogun] is one tough opponent, a very good striker. He is a walking legend. They offered me Shogun and I didn’t need time to think, I said ‘yes’ right away. Now I need time to train and work on my game-plan.”
Gustafsson was last seen in April at UFC on Fuel TV 2, putting a three-round beating on Thiago Silva en route to a unanimous decision victory. With the time off, Gustafsson has been recovering from minor bumps and bruises.
“I have spent a lot of time with my parents. I relocated and spent a short trip in US. I have spent time with my two Amercian Bulldogs: Sativa and Ghost. They are my babies.”
Although the bout is over three months away, Gustafsson is already prepping.
“I will be training in Sweden at Stockholm Shoot, and I am going to structure the training camp now. But I can train anywhere,” said Gustafsson. “I will fight anywhere, too, as long as I get to fight.”
Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is set to face number one contender Dan Henderson at UFC 151. Lyoto Machida was selected earlier this month as the next challenger for whoever takes home the belt on September 1st. Either Gustafsson or Shogun could very well be facing the winner between Machida and Jones/Henderson.
“It feels good, but honesty I don’t like talking about that. All my focus is now on Shogun. I always have the same mind set before a fight: to win every fight and take the belt home to Sweden.”