Report: UFC's Alexander Gustafsson Ending Retirement, Will Fight Fabricio Werdum

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 6, 2020

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JUNE 01: Alexander Gustafsson leaves the Octagon dejected after losing to Anthony Smith (Not pictured) during the UFC Fight Night event at the Ericsson Globe Arena on June 1, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)
Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Fight Island has a new resident ready to move in as soon as UFC President Dana White announces the location. 

Alexander Gustafsson, who last fought at UFC Fight Night 153 in June 2019, is reportedly coming out of retirement to face heavyweight Fabricio Werdum on July 25. Combate first reported the news, which was later confirmed by Mike Heck and Damon Martin of MMA Fighting on Friday.

The 33-year-old Gustafsson's back-to-back losses to Jon Jones and Anthony Smith led to the Swedish fighter's retirement last year.

Before those two losses, Gustafsson had a unanimous-decision victory over Jan Blachowicz and followed that with a knockout of Glover Teixeira. He seemed to be ready to take over as the top light heavyweight and challenge for the belt while avenging his UFC 165 loss to Jon Jones in 2013. 

But instead, Gustafsson began to look out of sync in the Octagon. 

Now he can begin his shot at redemption against Werdum, 42, who lost his last fight by split decision to Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 249 on May 9. The bout was Werdum's first since Alexander Volkov knocked him out at UFC Fight Night 127 in March 2018. 

The July 25 card is also expected to include a middleweight fight between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.

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White has been relatively mum on the details of Fight Island. However, he said it will make its debut July 11, and he told ESPN (h/t Martin) he hopes to host three-to-four fights in the first month. 

The UFC boss added that the company is building an arena and a training center for his athletes on the island, and he plans to live there through July. 

 

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