Alexander Gustafsson is ready to return to the Octagon.
“The Mauler” announced Thursday that he has signed a new deal with the UFC via his Instagram:
While others are talking about retirement, I just signed my new deal with the @ufc today. I am grateful, excited, and I will be fighting very soon! I need to thank my family, my team @wesportagency and @allstarsgymsweden . I would also like to give a special thank you to my fight management @neems01 and @majdishammas at Moments Sports Management for securing the biggest deal of my career. Soon to be the world champion!!! #soontobeworldchamp #team #loyalty #family
“While others are talking about retirement, I just signed my new deal with the UFC today,” Gustafsson wrote. “I am grateful, excited, and I will be fighting very soon!”
The 31-year-old light heavyweight contender did not mention the details of his contract, but manager Nima Safapour told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that it’s the best deal yet for Gustafsson.
“What I can tell you is this is the most lucrative deal of Alex’s career,” Safapour said. “And one of the best deals in the space. Both the UFC and Alex are happy. It is a good deal for everyone.
“(UFC general counsel) Hunter Campbell is an operator and a solid operator. We are excited to continue to grow with the UFC as partners and collaborators. The title is within reach now more than ever.”
Gustafsson (18-4) has not competed since last May at UFC Stockholm, where he defeated Glover Teixeira by fifth-round knockout. He has won his last two fights and 10 of his 14 Octagon appearances since joining the promotion in 2009.
Known for his impressive measurements and strong standup skills, Gustafsson has twice competed for the UFC light heavyweight title, dropping a unanimous decision to Jon Jones at UFC 165 and a split decision to current champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 192. Both bouts were widely lauded by fans and critics.
Gustafsson has only competed three times since October 2015, but he’s remained near the top of the rankings and has long expressed a desire to rematch Jones and Cormier.