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The best and worst from UFC Fight Night 153: Gustafsson vs. Smith

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
867   //    02 Jun 2019, 13:14 IST

#1 Worst: Gustafsson’s surprising retirement

Alexander Gustafsson surprisingly retired following his loss
Alexander Gustafsson surprisingly retired following his loss

Retirements in MMA never tend to come at an expected time; either a fighter drags out their career for way too long – think Mauricio Rua or BJ Penn – or the end comes suddenly and stuns all of their fans.

After last night, Swedish star Alexander Gustafsson belongs in that latter category. Sure, his loss to Anthony Smith was a massive disappointment, but I don’t think anyone really felt it was time for ‘The Mauler’ to hang up his gloves.

Obviously it’s entirely Gustafsson’s decision and as Dana White once said; if a fighter’s contemplating retirement then they should probably go through with it. But it’s still disappointing to see given it feels like the Swede never quite reached his potential.

Don’t forget that this is a fighter who could’ve won the UFC Light-Heavyweight title had the judges seen things slightly differently – on two separate occasions, too.

I might be doing Anthony Smith a disservice here but last night Gustafsson seemed flat from the off, didn’t really look like the man who took the fight to Jon Jones back in 2013, and in all honesty it meant that Smith’s win didn’t feel like the massive upset it actually was.

Maybe that in itself is enough to suggest Gustafsson’s decision was correct, but he’ll definitely be missed – not least by the UFC who no longer have their top guy to lean back on for their excursions into Scandinavia.

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