It would appear that ‘The Mauler’ is done inside the UFC.
The three-time light heavyweight title challenger left his gloves inside the cage after suffering a fourth-round rear-naked choke defeat to Anthony Smith in the main event of the UFC’s card in front of his compatriots in Stockholm.
“What can I say? The show is over, guys,” Gustafsson said to UFC commentator Dan Hardy after the defeat.
Smith, the experienced veteran who in the midst of a career resurgence at 205-pounds since moving up from the middleweight division in June of last year. In those twelve months, Smith has secured victories against Rashad Evans, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Volkan Oezdemir and, now, Gustafsson. His sole defeat in that period was to perhaps the greatest light heavyweight in history, Jon Jones.
Gustafsson just took off his gloves.
“What can I say? The show is over, guys.”
And then he put the gloves on the mat and walked away. pic.twitter.com/QY42LFkNzM
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 1, 2019
Smith started the stronger of the two fighters, finding room for range-finding shots after a cagey opening. Smith continued to land in the second — heavier now — but the Swede rallied in the third before finding himself in back mount in the fourth. Soon after, Smith secured the biggest win of his career when he coaxed a tap with a rear-naked choke.
For Gustafsson, the fight appears to signal the last of a decade-long UFC career in which he claimed ten wins against five defeats.
Elsewhere on the card, Aleksander Rakic scored a stunning left high kick knockout against Jim Manuwa inside the first minute of the fight. The win — and the subsequent ‘knockout of the night’ bonus which will surely follow — mark the Austrian light heavyweight out as a rising star in a 205-pound division in need of new blood, particular with Gustafsson hanging up his gloves after the main event.
Makwan Amirkhani scored a slick Anaconda Choke win against Chris Fishgold in a hugely impressive win for ‘Mr. Finland’, while Christos Giagos and Daniel Teymur completed the main card winners list.