A few weeks removed form his Light Heavyweight championship war against division champion Jon Jones at UFC 165, Alexander Gustafsson is still feeling blue after coming ever-so-close to dethroning "Bones" from the top of the 205-pound ladder.
It was a loss so heartbreaking that Gustafsson says he still can't bring himself to watch the entire fight.
Sure, the Swede's star has gotten brighter ever since his 25-minute instant classic against "Bones," which went down on Sept. 21, 2013, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (watch highlights here), but that doesn't ease "The Mauler" pain knowing that the belt isn't around his waist.
And while many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community feel that he should have walked out of Air Canada Centre the new champion, Gus doesn't want to hear things like that.
Not because he doesn't appreciate the support, but because it will only make it worse for him knowing that regardless of what other people think, the three judges who felt he didn't do enough to win are the ones with the last word.
And their final decision is the only thing that matters to Gustafsson (via "The MMA Hour"):
"People can say that I won the fight or that I didn't win the fight, that I won the scorecards or anything. It's all up to the judges. I didn't do enough to win the fight and that's enough for me. That's enough for me, I don't need to know anymore. It will just make me feel worse knowing anything else. But, I learned a lot from this fight, it's just going to make me stronger. Jon Jones can fight whoever he wants and take on whoever, but I will be around him all the time and I will be ready for another fight with him."
As for Jones, he felt he decisively won the fight after watching it over 10 times, which is the reason he opted to take on Glover Teixeira instead of granting Gustafsson an immediate rematch. It's a decision with which Gustafsson wasn't exactly thrilled because the bout was close ... and shocking.
Nevertheless, the towering Swede is confident he will get the rematch against "Bones" and he will walk away with the strap. Something Gustafsson says Jones is well aware of, too.
"He can say whatever he wants, but, I'm not done. I'm not happy with the way everything ended and I want that belt. That's my big goal. I will have my rematch and I will get that belt one day and he knows it, too. So, I can't wait."
As for Jones' title fight against Teixiera -- one that won't be happening at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, 2014, in N.J., as originally thought -- Gustafsson says, while people shouldn't be too quick to count out "Hands of Stone," Jones simply has too many tools for the Brazilian bomber to handle.
"Yeah, you know it will be a great fight. No one should count Glover out, because he's a strong guy and he hits super-hard. He's a strong guy. But, I think Jones has too many tools for Glover, and I think he will beat him. And for me the big goal is the belt, and if I fight Jones again and take the belt from him, that's my dream."
As for his next opponent, Gustafsson says he is unsure who he'll face next and hasn't received confirmation from the higher ups at Zuffa that he will indeed get next shot at the gold should he prove victorious his next time out. However, UFC President Dana White -- as recently as today -- recently declared that Gustaffson gets next if he proves victorious in his next match, which will likely takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, or London, England.
And as far as "The Mauler" is concerned, UFC officials can throw anyone its wants his way -- perhaps Antonio Rogerio Nogueira -- as long as it's not a rematch against Alliance MMA teammate Phil Davis.