As he prepares to headline UFC Fight Night 109 this Sunday (May 28) in his native Sweden, here are nine things you may or may not know about UFC light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson…
1. Country boy
Gustafsson grew up in Arborga, Sweden, a rural 13th century town of just 10,000 inhabitants.
2. Box clever
As a youth he won a Swedish national boxing championships but drifted away from the ring.
3. Behind bars
In his late teens Gustafsson spent some time behind bars for assault and minor offences.
4. Career in ink
His upper right arm is covered in spades reflecting his MMA record. Black are wins, white losses.
5. Breaking Bones
His debated points defeat to Jon Jones was voted 2013’s World MMA Awards ‘Fight of the Year’.
6. Title chaser
Three of Gustafsson’s four career defeats have been title fights or official eliminators.
7. Silver screen
He made his movie debut with a cameo in Swedish series Johan Falk, playing the police chief.
8. Born finisher
Just one of his first 14 fights made it out of the second round, nine of which were knockouts.
9. Team loyalty
Head coach Andreas Michael quit his coaching job with the Olympic team to guide Alex in MMA.
*** This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Fighters Only ***