After coming out of retirement for a fight at heavyweight last July, it seems that Stockholm’s Alexander Gustafsson is making another run at 205 pounds. It was announced this afternoon that he will face Paul Craig on September 4th.
The man who fought for the light heavyweight belt on three separate occasions clearly still has the urge to compete. He lost his previous three bouts against the likes of Jon Jones, Anthony Smith and Fabricio Werdum. The last two wins on his resume came against Jan Błachowicz and Glover Teixeira who will compete for the belt at UFC 267.
Gustafsson’s fight with Fabricio Werdum was over rather quickly as the jiu jitsu practitioner secured an armbar in the very first round. It was his second consecutive loss by submission, making this matchup with Craig a rather daunting task.
The Bearjew showed off his grappling this past June at UFC 263, dislocating the arm of then undefeated Jamahal Hill. With Hill refusing to tap the bout was ultimately finished by strikes. If you were to count it as a submission victory it would be the thirteenth of Paul Craig’s career. His previous four wins were all finished inside of the distance.
With the number 12 next to Craig’s name, this is a huge opportunity for Gustafsson to get back into the title chase. Both will enjoy fighting on their home continent in front of their fans. Gustafsson is a legend who is very easy to root for. I just believe Craig beats him quickly if this fight hit the mat.