We may yet see former light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in the Octagon again. After retiring following his submission loss to Anthony Smith in 2019, it seems the ‘Mauler’ has got the itch to fight again—this time in the heavyweight division.
Per Combate’s report, Gustafsson is negotiating with the UFC to appear on one of the promotion’s Fight Island cards on July 25th. And the first challenge he would like for his return is against former champion Fabricio Werdum. However, Combate also reports that – if the ‘Vai Cavalo’ matchup can’t be made – the Swede already has a second name in mind: Ovince Saint Preux, who recently moved up to heavyweight for a bout against Ben Rothwell.
Gustafsson (18-6) hung up his gloves after dropping back-to-back losses to both Anthony Smith and Jon Jones, in June 2019 and December 2018, respectively. Before that, the 33-year-old scored a knockout win over Glover Teixeira, back in May 2017.
Most recently, Fabricio Werdum (23-9-1) lost consecutive fights to Alexey Oleynik and Alexander Volkov, in May of this year and March 2018, respectively. Meanwhile, Ovince Saint Preux (24-14) dropped a split decision to Rothwell, in his heavyweight debut, also back in May.
While the location is still to be announced, the July 25th Fight Island card is scheduled to be headlined by a middleweight bout between former champion Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. The return of Gustafsson at on the undercard could make for a must see event.