5 Things You Should Know About the UFC’s Alexander Gustafsson

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Alexander Gustafsson has waited more than five years for another chance.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Swede will challenge Jon Jones for the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title in the UFC 232 main event on Dec. 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Scheduled for five rounds, the battle serves as a rematch of their epic and unforgettable first encounter in September 2013, which Jones won by unanimous decision, albeit with considerable difficulty. It seemed inevitable that their paths would someday cross again, but injuries to Gustafsson conspired with Jones’ misdeeds — inside and outside the cage — and made for a lengthy delay. The question now becomes whether or not they can meet the great expectations placed before them.

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As Gustafsson prepares for his high-stakes showdown with Jones, here are five things you should know about him:

1. He has put some miles on the figurative odometer.

Gustafsson has competed in nine different countries in his 22-fight career: Finland, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, England, Australia, the United States, Canada and Germany.

Alexander Gustafsson punches Glover Teixeira. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

2. Statistics provide evidence of his world-class handiwork.

“The Mauler” takes up plenty of real estate on the FightMetric leaderboard. Gustafsson ranks second among active UFC light heavyweights in knockdowns landed (nine), second in takedown defense (.854), fourth in submission attempts (five), fifth in significant strikes landed (641), fifth in total strikes landed (885), fifth in total fight time (2:33:11), sixth in takedowns landed (18) and eighth in takedown accuracy (.400).

3. Only elite fighters have solved his riddle.

The four men to whom Gustafsson has lost — Jones, Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson, and Phil Davis — own a cumulative record of 85-13.

4. He managed to monetize his skills.

Gustafsson has been awarded five post-fight bonuses across his last six appearances in the UFC: four for “Fight of the Night” and another for “Performance of the Night,” worth a total of $250,000.

Alexander Gustafsson punches Golver Teixeira. Photo: Michael Campanella/Getty Images

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5. His start was anything but glamorous.

Gustafsson was born on Jan. 15, 1987 in Arboga, Sweden — a town of roughly 14,000 people in the southwestern quadrant of the country.

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