UFC London “Blaydes vs. Aspinall” went down this past weekend (Sat., July 23, 2022) from inside O2 Arena in London, England, featuring a solid afternoon of fights spearheaded by a Heavyweight match up between Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall.
Plenty of fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues, including Aspinall, who suffered a devastating knee injury 15 seconds into his fight against Blaydes (see it here). And Jordan Leavitt, who was submitted by Paddy Pimblett in the second round of their main card fight (highlights).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
“The Mauler” returned to the Light Heavyweight division after two years away from action following a submission loss to Fabricio Werdum in a Heavyweight fight. For Gustafsson, a return to the 205-pound weight class was an attempt to right his ship after three straight losses.
Instead, things went down hill in a hurry for the Swedish star.
Nikita Krylov tagged Gustafsson repeatedly, dropping him early into the fight. After managing to get back up, “The Mauler” once again found himself on the receiving end of Krylov’s non-stop attack, which saw the big man drop to the canvas after a sneaky shot, putting him down for the count. The loss was Gustafsson’s fourth straight, with his last winning coming over five years ago. Afterward, “The Mauler” posted a brief message for his supporters.
“I’m ok. Disappointed.” he wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations to Nikita and thank u all for support.”
While it’s easy for one to critique the ferocity, or lack thereof, behind the shots Gustafsson received, we can take it from a former world champion to explain why the knockout loss was a bit worrisome.
“Gustafsson is done. He needs to walk away, these shots are hard but he used to eat those,” explained former UFC “champ-champ,” Daniel Cormier. “The chin is gone, walk away my friend. We all have expiration date. One of the best to not have had a title,” he ended.
At 35 years of age, it’s highly unlikely that Gustafsson returns to the form that once made him one of the most dangerous fighters in the Light Heavyweight division, the same man who gave Jon Jones all he could handle at UFC 165. Also the same man who scored back-to-back wins over former 205-pound champions Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.
Instead, we saw a fighter who looked like a shell of his former self, sadly. Perhaps it was the extended sit — two years away from action is a long time in between fights. Or, as Cormier put it, perhaps Gus’s best days are behind him.
While he never held a UFC title, Gustafsson still has a nice resume attached to his name, is in the Hall of Fame for an epic fight and probably made a good amount of coin during his time with the promotion.
What say you, do you think it’s time for “The Mauler” to hang them up for good?
For complete UFC London results and coverage click here.
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