Alexander Gustafsson succumbed to his fourth consecutive loss against Nikita Krylov at UFC London

When fighters decide to lace their gloves, many a time it’s just a momentary relapse in decision-making, that is often overturned by them. Besides that, the itch to compete draws them back to the octagon, and most of these fighters are always training even when not in training camps. Alexander Gustafsson is one of those fighters, who retired in June 2019, only to make a comeback a year later.

ufc fight night whittaker v till weigh in gustaffson
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: In this handout image provided by UFC, Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He even moved up to heavyweight, in an attempt for a fresh start, and also to not have to deal with big weight cuts at the later stage of his career. But it hasn’t been easy for the Swedish mixed martial artist, who has been on a four-fight losing skid. The last loss against Nikita Krylov in particular was a wake-up call. Nikita demolished Gustaffson early in the first round, and the famed ‘Mauler’ chin couldn’t hold up.

UFC President Dana White said that often fighters retire too young, or walk away from the sport while addressing the Nate Diaz situation. He also mentioned that a lot of times, it is his duty as their well-wisher to protect them from themselves, and initiate a conversation about potential retirement.

Daniel Cormier was amongst the first to openly address Gustafsson’s situation on Twitter. He wrote, ”Gustafson is done. He needs to walk away, these shots are hard but he used to eat those. The chin is gone, walk away my friend. We all have expiration date. One of the best to not have had a title.”

The idea of grabbing the belt at least once is what drives some fighters, whereas for some others it is the love for competition that steers them. But should Alexander Gustafsson retire?

Alexander Gustafsson should retire, following his loss at UFC London

Although Gustafsson might have the same drive as he used to, his body and chin haven’t been able to take punches like before. The toughness and heart of Gustafsson cannot be questioned, but like Cormier said, it’s important to recognize when to stop.

The ‘Mauler’ has earned every right to call his shots when it comes to his career. Much like him, Frankie Edgar has been on a downward spiral, but he has been asking the UFC for a fight on the MSG card once before he decides to lace his gloves. If Gustafsson wants to do something similar, the UFC will certainly oblige. But in all fairness, he should consider retirement, and enjoy his much-earned life outside fighting.

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