Alexander Gustafsson showed that he will be a force in the UFC for years to come, pushing UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to the distance Saturday night.
Now, “The Mauler” knows exactly what he needs to do to reach his goal.
“I learned a lot from this fight,” said Gustafsson, during the post-fight show for UFC 165 on FOX Sports 2. “He’s the champ. To take the belt from the champ, you have to finish him.
“The biggest lesson is I have to push the pace harder. I just did what I thought I could do and it wasn’t enough.”
Gustafsson suffered just his second pro defeat and first via decision. He constantly stuffed Jones’ takedown attempts, and even brought the former NJCAA national champion wrestler down to the mat for the first time in his Octagon career.
“I will come back stronger and better,” he said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m very proud of what I did and my team.”
While talk of a rematch was tabled by UFC president Dana White Saturday night due to the beating both men took, Gustafsson made sure to let it be known that he desires another fight with Jones.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I want a rematch right away. But, it’s up to the UFC. It’s an honor to fight Jon.”