MCGRATH-Sunday thoughts from the week in MMA: Gustafsson retires, Anthony Smith’s next fight, McGregor, Andy Ruiz, more

David McGrath MMATorch Contributor

Jun 1, 2019; Stockholm, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

News and notes from the week in combat sports

Gustaffson retires.

Alexander Gustaffson allegedly retired from MMA yesterday after another defeat in front of his home country. Gus should reset and look for greener pastures. Remember, Ryan Bader had a far worse time in the UFC than Gustaffson, and he is now the “Champ-Champ” and making a ton of money in Bellator. I would love to see Gustaffson end up there. I’m sure Bellator would too, they could easily break into the Swedish market with Gustaffson as a top guy. Makes too much sense. 

What is next for Anthony Smith?

Anthony Smith certainly looked elite last night. Would have loved to see him call out Johnny Walker after the fight. For me, it’s time to see if Walker is the real deal. Smith is the right barometer for it. 

HISCOE: The agony of defeat was finally too much for Alexander Gustafsson

McGregor’s next fight?

Ariel Helwani of ESPN recently reported that Conor McGregor and the UFC have been unable to come to terms on a McGregor return. Much like Brock Lesnar, the number was not right. Goes to show the UFC is not putting out big dollars with this new ESPN deal. It’s curious for McGregor as Justin Gaethje has expressed interest in fighting McGregor in Ireland. McGregor has long said he won’t retire until he fights in his home country. My guess is McGregor’s next opponent is Floyd Mayweather, I mean it! I’m convinced! 

Some boxing fun on a UFC-free night.

Twitter broke last night after Anthony Joshua lost the unified WBA, WBO, IBO, and IBF heavyweight title and his undefeated record to Andy Ruiz. Reaffirmed what I long thought, Joshua is #3 in theTyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Joshua logjam that has dominated the top of the division forever. He is simply not that skilled. 

A Gotti in the UFC?

How would a member of the infamous Gotti family look in the UFC ? We will soon find out, as John Gotti III stayed undefeated at Rhode Island’s CES 56 event that took place on Friday night. Gotti got it done with a slam KO 96 seconds in. He finished quick and is a super exciting fighter. 

Watch below via Twitter:

A conversation with Damien Brown.

Damien Brown, UFC Veteran and RIZIN lightweight is truly one of the good guys of the sport. We talked this week about his battle with PTSD and using his platform as a fighter to raise awareness. He also told me he wants to put Michael Chandler to sleep, and is actively pursuing fights in Bellator. Sign this guy, Scott Coker. 

The Dad bod is the Champ bod

With Daniel Cormier and Anthony Ruiz both being heavyweight champions the “Dad bod” is officially a thing in combat sports. This makes me happy. 

Some MMA rumors

(Note: These are not reports, they are rumors, and should be taken as such) 

Two long rumored fights that have yet to be signed: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Brian Ortega and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier should be officially announced in the coming weeks. 


A fun opportunity in the near future!

I’ve always wanted to cover a live event as a media member at the “The World’s Most Famous Arena” Madison Square Garden. I will do that for Bellator 222 June 14 for the, very cool bucket list check mark.

MMATorch Cast (6/1) UFC Stockholm recap, Gustafsson retires, “Bet the Bookie” results


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