Some in his homeland of Sweden have already dubbed him “Alexander the Great.” However, his real nickname is “The Mauler,” but for now, the up-and-comer would just simply like to be called Alexander Gustafsson (Pictured).
Despite the lofty expectations surrounding the skyrocketing 25-year-old, Gustafsson knows all of the hoopla hovering around him will be instantly erased if he doesn’t continue his dominance inside the cage.
“I think it’s just really fun to hear,” he said on UFC Tonight of his hype. “It’s really good feedback. I don’t get an impression at all, I just have fun with what I do. It’s just fun to hear.”
Of course, the light heavyweight has heard this song before. Similar expectations were placed on him entering his April 2010 fight against Phil Davis. “Mr. Wonderful” ended up humbling Gustafsson in the opening round to hand him his first and only professional blemish.
He chalks the defeat up as a lesson learned. Gustafsson has since taken that information and ran with it.
“I’m a whole new fighter since my loss to Phil,” Gustafsson confidently stated. “I’ve been learning a lot from my loss. I do this full time now. Everything I do is MMA now. I live it, eat it and sleep it.
“I’m super excited. I’m super motivated. There’s no pressure at all. It’s a dream come true. I’m just doing what I love to do.”
Gustafsson will be riding a four-fight winning streak into this Saturday’s showdown against Thiago Silva. All of the victories he’s posted during his current run have ended in devastating fashion.
The 205-pounders collide inside Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. FUEL TV will broadcast the main card live beginning at 3PM ET/12PM PT.