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'New and improved' Alexander Gustafsson knows he can beat Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In both of his bids to become Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion, Alexander Gustafsson went up against former division king Jon Jones and current champion Daniel Cormier.

And both times, "The Mauler" came up short.

That was then, and this is now, and "The Mauler" feels new and improved after taking some time off following his loss to "DC," and is confident he cant defeat both of the aforementioned champions.

As he told FLoCombat (via Bloody Elbow), though he has plenty left to learn, the 29 year old is ready to show the mixed martial arts (MMA) world just what he can do, as he has yet to reach his full potential.

"I believe and I know I can beat DC and Jones now. I can't wait to show everyone the new and improved Alex. I've been close to being a champion before, but I still believe I've got a lot to learn. That's why I've used this time away from competition to really focus on sharpening all of my skills. I truly believe I've not yet reached my full potential. I've still so much to give, and I'm only 29 years old. I have a good few years left in me and I feel good—actually, I feel great—and I'm ready to go now."

Gustaffson is set to make his return at UFC Fight Night 93 on Sept. 3, 2016 against Jan Blachowicz in Hamburg, Germany.

A test Gustafsson says he's eager to take part in:

"I think it's going to be a really good fight actually, and I think Jan is going to be a tough opponent for me. It took them a while to find me someone, and we've been searching someone for quite some time, but for different reasons, none of the top ranked guys could fight, so they've given me an opponent, and he's a familiar one. Jan is a guy I have trained with a couple of times, and I know him quite well, and I know he's a good fighter. It's going to be a great card, and this will be a good test for me when I return."

Since 2013, Alex -- who was once considered to be a future champion -- has gone 1-3 at 205 pounds.

Anyone think he can indeed turn it around and eventually make his way back to another championship fight against "DC" or "Bones," who are set to headline UFC 200 on July 9, 2016?

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