Alexander Gustafsson | “The Mauler”
Ht: 6’5 – Wt: 205 – Age: 25
Born: Arboga, Sweden
Fights out of: Stockholm, Sweden
Team: Stockholm Shoot | Alliance MMA
Overall Record: 15-1
UFC Record: 7-1
Alexander Gustafsson is a fast-rising prospect in the UFC light heavyweight division. Gustafsson made his mixed martial arts debut in 2007, quickly compiling an 8-0 overall record, 7 of those wins coming via finish. Gustafsson eventually signed with the UFC in 2009. Gustafsson made his UFC debut against striker Jared Hamman at UFC 105. Both fighters traded strikes early, but it was Gustafsson who scored the crushing blow, dropping Hamman with punches. Gustafsson’s undefeated run would not last long though as he faced off against fellow prospect Phil Davis. Gustafsson held his own early against the superior wrestler, but eventually succumbed to Davis’ takedowns and a follow-up submission. Gustafsson bounced back with impressive submission victories of his own over Cyrille Diabate and James Te-Huna. Gustafsson stepped back up in competition to knock off Matt Hamill in his biggest win to date, finishing Hamill via 2nd round TKO. Gustafsson scored another dominating performance against veteran Vladimir Matyushenko, finishing “The Janitor” via 1st round TKO. Gustafsson has now solidified himself as a possible future title contender and one of Europe’s top fighters.
Gustafsson fought 3 times in 2011, impressively finishing all of his opponents.
Gustafsson began the year by facing off against striker James Te-Huna. Te-Huna scored a quick takedown to start the fight and started to find success with some ground ‘n’ pound before Gustafsson eventually got back to his feet. They jostled for position as both men looked for the takedown. Gustafsson transitioned to take Te Huna’s back during a takedown attempt and after some resistance eventually forced Te Huna to tap out due to a rear-naked choke.
Gustafsson was set to face veteran Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 133, but instead ended up squaring off against TUF 3 alum Matt Hamill. The 1st round was fairly even as Hamill connected on some solid punches, but came up empty-handed on his takedown attempts. Meanwhile, Gustafsson was using his reach, flurries, and leg kicks to land his respective offense. In the 2nd round, Hamill came straight out looking for the takedown, but Gustafsson easily stuffed Hamill’s futile attempts and landed some nice strikes in the process. As Hamill continued to search for the takedown, Gustafsson connected on a solid left hand that had Hamill noticeably hurt. Gustafsson fired away with uppercuts forcing Hamill to the floor. Gustafsson went in for the finish, landing punches and elbows, to force the referee stoppage.
Gustafsson continued his rise up the ranks as he faced off against veteran Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 141. Gustafsson was the much taller fighter coming into the fight. Matyushenko tried to close the distance, but Gustafsson made him pay for it with a short left hand that dropped Matyushenko to the floor. Gustafsson went in for the finish, landing a few more punches before the ref stopped the fight.
Alexander Gustafsson is quickly moving up the UFC light heavyweight ranks as the sky seems to be the limit for this 24 year old prodigy. Gustafsson’s only career setback was his 2010 loss to Phil Davis. Since then, Gustafsson has continued to annihilate seasoned veterans. Gustafsson is physically gifted with a long reach and speed to match. What makes Gustafsson special though is his ability to improvise. Gustafsson’s limitations are thus far limited to his overall wrestling. Gustafsson has an excellent sprawl and submission skills. There are only a few fighters that potentially could overpower Gustafsson with their wrestling, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against top-level competition. Considering Gustafsson’s age and rapid development, he may be on the road to superstardom. The current line-up of title contenders in the light heavyweight division are all aging veterans. Gustafsson is likely not ready for Jon Jones at this point, but he has the physical skills to compete with the elite of the division. 2012 will be a big year for Gustafsson as he looks to prove himself as a top contender.
Alexander Gustafsson Fight Record
Overall Record: 13-1
2008-2011 Record: 11-1
2011 Record: 3-0
Win | Vladimir Matyushenko | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 12/30/2011
Win | Matt Hamill | Tko | Rd 2 | UFC | 08/06/2011
Win | James Te-Huna | Sub | Rd 1 | UFC | 02/27/2011
2010 Record: 1-1
Win | Cyrille Diabate | Sub | Rd 2 | UFC | 10/16/2010
Loss | Phil Davis | Sub | Rd 1 | UFC | 04/10/2010
2009 Record: 2-0
Win | Jared Hamman | KO | Rd 1 | UFC | 11/14/2009
Win | Vladimir Shemarov | KO | Rd 1 | | 05/30/2009
2008 Record: 5-0
Win | Pedro Quetglas | Tko | Rd 1 | | 11/08/2008
Win | Krzysztof Kulak | Dec | Rd 2 | | 09/13/2008
Win | Matteo Minonzio | Tko | Rd 1 | | 05/10/2008
Win | Florian Muller | Tko | Rd 2 | | 03/13/2008
Win | Farbod Fadami | Tko | Rd 1 | | 02/09/2008