Alexander Gustafsson confirms retirement after Anthony Smith loss

The sad image of a forlorn Alexander Gustafsson taking off his gloves following his submission loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm will live long in the memory.

Struggling to find his words, all Gustafsson could muster was: “The show is over, guys,” devastating his adoring Swedish fans in attendance.

A lot has been said about interviewing losing fighters immediately following a tough battle. Emotions run high and the competitors in question may not be clear-headed and at their most eloquent after enduring punishment in a cage.

And because of Gustafsson’s short, sharp statement in the Octagon, many questioned whether Gustafsson is really committed to retiring from mixed martial arts. Even long-time foe Jon Jones wasn’t sure to believe the towering Swede.

However, Gustafsson doubled down on his decision to retire form the sport after laying his gloves down in the Octagon.

“Yeah, I am [retired]. I’m done,” Gustafsson told ESPN+. “I’m disappointed with the outcome of the fight. I was ready. I was in my zone and it felt good.

“I don’t do this for the money. I do this because I want to be the best and beat the best. If I can’t do that, it is what it is.”

Gustafsson almost repeated those words verbatim in his post-fight UFC press conference and had alluded to this stance prior to his fight with Smith.

“It feels like I don’t have it in me anymore, to be honest,” he continued. “I just have that feeling it’s time now. I don’t want to be a journeyman. I don’t want to do this because I’m getting paid. I want to do this because I love it. I want to be at the top.”