Former three-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger. Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson is slated to make his Octagon return as well as his 205lbs comeback at a UFC Fight Night event on September 4th. — taking on prominent submission threat, Paul ‘The Bearjew’ Craig. As of publication, the event is preliminarily expected to take place in London, England.
Veteran contender, Gustafsson is set to make his first Octagon appearance since UFC Fight Island 3 last July — where he made his heavyweight divisional bow in a first round armbar loss to former division champion and recent PFL feature, Fabricio Werdum.
Last featuring at UFC 263 in June, newly-minted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Craig managed to score his third consecutive victory in the form of a first round knockout win over Jamahal Hill off his back, after Hill appeared to have suffered a forearm injury as a result of an earlier armbar attempt. News of the clash of Gustafsson and Craig was first reported by Swedish outlet, Frontkick.Online.
A former three-time title challenger at light heavyweight, Gustafsson was unsuccessful in bids to pry the title from both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, with his most recent challenge coming in the form of a vacant title matchup with Jones in the main event of UFC 232 in December 2018.
Following the loss, Gustafsson would suffer a hometown UFC Fight Night Stockholm rear-naked choke defeat to one-time title chaser, Anthony Smith — before calling time on his career immediately following the defeat in the Octagon.
Snapping an almost one year hiatus, Gustafsson featured on ‘Fight Island’ in July last year, suffering his armbar defeat to grappling standout, Werdum.
18-7 as a professional, Gustaffson has bested the likes of Matt Hamill, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua, Jimi Manuwa, current light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz, and incoming title challenger, Glover Teixeira over the course of his UFC run.
Airdrie native, Craig received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt following his stoppage win over Hill in June, which came as his third win on the trot — after forcing submission from strikes against common-foe, Shogun Rua, and an arm-triangle win over Gahzhimurad Antigulov.
From 15 professional wins, Craig has managed to wrap up a stunning 12 separate submission wins, including other stoppages of Magomed Ankalaev, Kennedy Nzechukwu, and Vinicius Moreira.