Alexander Gustafsson Biography Introduction:
was a NCAA National Champion Division III wrestler. Yet when he took on Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133
, he was completely unable to land a takedown
. Come the second round, Gustafsson really began using those patented striking skills of his, landing kicks, a strong left hand, and then right uppercuts at will, eventually dropping the former TUF contestant. Soon after, ground and pound ended things.
Why talk about this bout? Simply because it put Gustafsson on the map as an MMA fighter worth watching. Here is his story.
Date of Birth:
Alexander Gustafsson was born on January 15, 1987, in Arboga, Sweden.
Training Camp, Fighting Organization, and Nickname:
As is the case with most high level MMA fighters these days, Gustafsson works with a variety of training camps, including Stockholm Shoot, Gladius MMA, and Alliance MMA. He fights under the UFC
banner, and his nickname is The Mauler.
Martial Arts Training:
Gustafsson started training in boxing when he was around 10 years old. He was able to achieve a number 10 ranking as a boxer in Europe and defeated the Swedish champion as an amateur before transitioning to MMA in 2006.
Gustafsson currently holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Gustafsson made his MMA debut on November 17, 2007, at a SHOOTO event in Lahti, Finland. He defeated Saku Heikola via rear naked choke
. In fact, he won his first eight fights, with seven of those victories coming by way of stoppage, before making his UFC debut.
The UFC Comes Calling:
Gustafsson made his UFC debut on November 14, 2009, at UFC 105 against Jared Hamman, a former EliteXC fighter. Gustafsson showed off his high level striking, defeating Hamman in dominant fashion by first round KO. However, in his second fight he took on rising MMA star and former national champion wrestler Phil Davis at UFC 112. Gustafsson found himself dominated on the ground in the contest, eventually succumbing by way of anaconda choke.
Gustafsson is a very athletic and explosive fighter, which cannot be emphasized more. Further, he has great hands, born from his boxing background, and uses them effectively. The reality is, however, that he also utilizes kicks very well, making him an explosive, athletic, and diverse striker.
Gustafsson has improved his wrestling a lot over time. He is very adept at pulling off the rear naked choke in contests.
Some of Alexander Gustafsson's Greatest MMA Victories:
- Gustafsson defeats Vladimir Matyushenko by first round TKO at UFC 141: Remember that boxing background of Gustafsson's? Well, Matyushenko sure will. In the end, Matyushenko was dropped by a lightning fast jab, which led to some ground fighting and a stoppage. By defeating Matyushenko, a known entity and outstanding wrestler, Gustafsson certainly gained some credibility from the MMA faithful.
- Gustafsson defeats Matt Hamill by second round TKO at UFC 133: Keep in mind that Gustafsson's lone loss in MMA leading into the Hamill fight was against a high level wrestler in Phil Davis. By stuffing Hamill's takedowns, a former Division III national champion himself, Gustafsson proved that he could stay on his feet, if need be, against elite grapplers.
- Gustafsson defeats Cyrille Diabate by second round rear naked choke at UFC 120: Diabate is known as one heckuva striker with a long reach. So coming into their UFC 120 bout, many believed he would have his way on his feet against Gustafsson. Wrong. Instead, the Swedish fighter dominated the stand up, dropping Diabate twice in round one before stopping him on the ground in round two.