David McGrath MMATorch Contributor
He’s not a top 5 light heavyweight as me and Cole Henry argued about this week. I can’t put him ahead of Jones, Cormier, Rumble, Ortiz and certainly not Liddell. But also, he very well depending on how you score it, owns wins over Jones and Cormier because the fights were so tight. I personally scored the first Jones fight 3-2 for Gustaffson so it’s complicated. He’s the ultimate bridesmaid in the bottom portion of the top 10 all time light heavyweight who for a few minutes there had some great moments. Nothing to sneeze at.
Christian Moore MMATorch Contributor
I think his legacy is two things. #1 being one of the greatest light heavyweight fighters of all time, and #2 going down as possibly the best fighter to never get the strap. Gus has always been one of the best fighters in the company his whole UFC career, and if this period in UFC history didn’t have a Jones or Cormier, Gus would’ve dominated, and ran the division. Gus has always been one of my favorite fighters, and I’m sad to see him go even though he still has so much left, but I’m also happy that he is walking away without taking unnecessary future damage.
Sean Covington MMATorch Contributor
Not beating people he needed to…Legacy?! You gotta be joking. Not every fighter has a great legacy because he had a couple of good fights or because we liked him. No pedestal for Gus! Cerrone is a guy that’s built a real legacy, Gus has only been in a hand full of fights that were memorable. I’m glad he’s gone before his record got bad. Right now, he is still considered a good fighter. I liked him but it’s time to go.
Frank Hyden MMATorch Contributor
I think he’ll be remembered as having come so close to being the only man to have defeated Jon Jones, and never being able to get back to that level again. He was talented but just never got over that hump. He had a fine career and hopefully that gives him the opportunity to start striving towards his next life goal.
Aaron Crider MMATorch Contributor
Alexander Gustafsson, in my mind, will always be known as the man who pushed Jon Jones. “The Mauler” may have ended his career at 18-6 with back-to-back losses, but his first title fight against Jones has to be on of the best fights in UFC history. Until that fight, no light heavyweight lasted more than a few rounds with Jones. But Gustafsson went 25 minutes in the cage, and, unlike other fighters, really took the fight to the champ.
He cut him early, traded shots with him and was the first ever to take Jones down to the ground. Prior to that fight, “Bones” had successfully defended 16 different takedown attempts. And, he didn’t get his first takedown against Gustafssson until the final few minutes of the fight.
Had Gustafsson’ cardio held out a little longer, he might have become the new light heavyweight champion. That’s something that can’t be ignored.