“I believe and I know I can beat DC and Jones now. I can’t wait to show everyone the new and improved Alex. I’ve been close to being a champion before, but I still believe I’ve got a lot to learn. That’s why I’ve used this time away from competition to really focus on sharpening all of my skills. I truly believe I’ve not yet reached my full potential. I’ve still so much to give, and I’m only 29 years old. I have a good few years left in me and I feel good—actually, I feel great—and I’m ready to go now.”
-Alexander Gustafsson, returning this September after 11 months off, talks to Jim Edwards at FloCombat.com about his where he feels he’s at in the division after his layoff.
Penick’s Analysis: Gustafsson had a better argument for the Cormier fight than he did the Jones fight, so it’s not as if he’s a lost cause in the title picture. Of course, the stoppage loss to Anthony Johnson hurts his case, and he needs to win another fight or two to be in consideration, but Jon Jones still wants to fight him. If Cormier beats Jones, Gustafsson did enough in the first fight to argue for a rematch, but he’ll have an easier time getting into the cage again with Jones. Regardless, beating Jan Blachowicz in his return is the first thing he needs to do, and from there he can work back into that mix to prove his words here.
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