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Midnight Mania! Alexander Gustafsson reconsidering retirement, still has ‘tingle in his hands’

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Stockholm-Gustafsson vs Smith Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Wait, didn’t I just write about a retired former Light Heavyweight title contender returning to the Octagon?

Time really is a flat circle. It’s been less than two months since Alexander Gustafsson came up short to Anthony Smith in an admittedly uninspired performance. In response, Gustafsson left his gloves in the ring, signaling an end to his 12 year professional career.

In an interview with MMANYTT, Gustafsson no longer sounds so certain:

“I fought my last fight against Anthony Smith and it didn’t go as planned,” Gustafsson tells MMAnytt’s Ashah Tafari. “I felt an incredible frustration, I’m a really sore loser and I left my gloves in the cage and felt that it’s enough now. But with that said I still have this tingle in my hands. This is very new, it’s been a month and I’m far from a retired fighter in my way of thinking and such. I’ve made my decision and so on but it takes time to adapt and accept the new things in life and your role in all of it.”

Is it really a surprise is any way that Gustafsson is already considering a return to competition? Even MMA fighters that retire on a win usually feel the itch to return to combat — look at Urijah Faber! “The California Kid” won an awesome fight in his home city to complete his career, and he still jumped at the first chance to return to the cage and give it another shot as this weekend’s co-main event.

It’s definitely a difficult life adjustment to make, particularly for someone like Gustafsson who’s made several hundred thousand dollars in a single night several times before. Realistically, Gustafsson worked very hard for peanuts for much of his career, only getting paid big in his last few years of competition.

Longevity is what gets fighters paid in MMA, and it’s part of the reason why athletes who should probably stay retired cannot stay away. Hopefully, if Gustafsson does return to the Octagon, he does so with a renewed fire to compete, as he is still fairly young at 32 years of age and could remain a relevant Light Heavyweight.

Oh, and I guess we have to changes Jon Jones’ nickname to “Mystic” now.


Team Alpha Male fight week!

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Fight Week is the Right Week.

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“The Golden Snitch” must be doing something right.

Corey Anderson gets overlooked quite a bit and is legitimately a top five Light Heavyweight, but he really cannot blame anyone after turning down some fights that could’ve been huge wins.

Ilir Latifi working his defense.

Adesanya is quite the shit-stirrer.

Marvin Vettori running some drills with Kelvin Gastelum ahead of his bout this weekend.

Cejudo may be a dork, but this is pretty cool.

Saenchai highlights are just the best.

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Muaythai Sweeps

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Slips, rips, and SUMO clips

Solecki bopped his foe with the right hand a few times, threw him to the mat, and strangled him to sleep in the first round for a contract. Picture-perfect arm-across guillotine for the John Hassett-trained black belt!

Sumo clips finally appeared on my Twitter feed, so now I can pass them on. Thank you Megaton and SumoSoul!

Random Land

Y’all ever just feel the need to throw hands in Disneyland? Lines are a little too long sometimes. Sun a bit too hot. Food is pretty pricey.

It could make a person go crazy.

Midnight Mania: I admittedly only own like three soundtrack albums, but the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack is a great listen for folk/bluegrass fans and obviously an amazing film too.

Sleep well Maniacs! There’s always more martial arts madness on the way.