Daniel Cormier Praises ‘Warrior’ Alexander Gustafsson: ‘You Made the Sport Better’

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 3, 2019


If this is indeed farewell for Alexander Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier has nothing but praise for his former foe.

The reigning UFC heavyweight champion paid tribute to the Gustafsson on social media over the weekend after the Swedish star announced his retirement following a loss to Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 153 headliner in Stockholm on Saturday.

“Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey,” Cormier wrote. “We’ve agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed! I understand the motivation changes and for you it is now your family. I say now you’re starting to really live the good life. Congrats on a great career my man! You’re a hammer! See you around.”

Cormier made his first light heavyweight title defense against Gustafsson at UFC 192 in Houston on Oct. 3, 2015. “DC” was able to prevail in a closely-contested split decision that earned “Fight of the Night” honors and more importantly, allowed him to retain his belt.

Gustafsson left his gloves in the Octagon after tapping to a rear-naked choke from Smith in the fourth round at Ericsson Globe. He explained his decision to call it a career in a post-fight interview on ESPN+.

“It feels like I don’t have it in me anymore, to be honest,” he said. “I just have that feeling it’s time now. I don’t want to be a journeyman. I don’t want to do this because I’m getting paid. I want to do this because I love it. I want to be at the top.”

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