Alexander Gustafsson might be 0-2 in title bouts with Jon Jones and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, but the Swede still has the fire.
"I will continue as long as I know I have the potential to be the best," Gustafsson told Swedish outlet Allehanda (via Bloody Elbow). "If there comes a day where I feel I can not go any further than this, that day I stop. Then I put the gloves on the shelf. But I feel that there's more to achieve. I know I can be better. I know I have the potential to beat 'DC'. I know I can beat Jon Jones."
After winning six straight fights from 2010 to 2012, Gustafsson has gone 1-3 since becoming an elite contender.
Gustafsson rebounded from his five-round unanimous decision loss to Jones at UFC 165 in 2013 with an impressive TKO of Jimi Manuwa six months later. Since then, Gustafsson has suffered back-to-back losses in high profile bouts.
Headlining on his home turf, Gustafsson suffered the first KO loss of his career when he was pounded out by Anthony Johnson in the first round at UFC on Fox 14 in January. With a lack bankable contenders at 205 pounds, Gustafsson challenged newly minted champion Cormier at UFC 192 in October, losing a split decision.
"I do not want to be a journeyman," said Gustafsson. "I do not want to be a fighter that people should beat to get a title fight. I do not want to be in fights where people see me as an obstacle on the road. I want to be the man challenging. I'm not satisfied with being ranked second and third. I'm such a self-critic, that I find it hard to give myself credit for something.
"Sure, it was a good fight against DC. It was a good fight against Jones, but I didn't win. So that is not a good fight. It is not enough that I've put Sweden on the map. I've heard a hundred times how good that was. I appreciate what people say to me and that they give me credit. But for my personally, it's not enough. I want to go all the way."
One of the faces of European MMA, it doesn't sound like UFC brass are worried about Gustafsson moving forward.
"We'll see what the future looks like now," Gustafsson said. "I spoke to [UFC president] Dana White and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta on Friday. 'Big plans', was all they said. We'll see what they have to offer. I am 28 and I see myself involved with this a few more years. I want to go some more years."
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Strap for the strap.
Bae #2 wanted to go to the gym today. I said ok but I told her u don't need ur seat belt, she... https://t.co/4BCocWGrf7— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 20, 2015
Bae #2 wanted to go to the gym today. I said ok but I told her u don't need ur seat belt, she wouldn't let me leave until she put it on. We argued for 10 minutes but eventually she won out. She always gets her way. #champproblems #beltproblems #spoiledbrat #spoiledbelt #shesbeautiful #imakeepyouforever :)
In LA for a few days. Working hard with @FreddieRoach and Marvin at Wild Card Gym! pic.twitter.com/SBgyPriUxn— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) October 20, 2015
Thank you @SELFmagazine for having me on this month's cover https://t.co/lD0hexADR2 pic.twitter.com/8XXVydbwt9— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) October 21, 2015
.@rondarousey is, pound for pound, the best fighter in the world https://t.co/QCVgOsvHaY pic.twitter.com/U4V7WyuPGU— SELF Magazine (@SELFmagazine) October 20, 2015
Really honored to have @ddlovato include me in the lyrics of her song #Stars in her new album #Confident #nowplayingconfident— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) October 20, 2015
Very exciting news soon. All I can say a very tough opponent, ranked higher than @RossTheRealDeal @ALIAQUINTA and apparently has more balls— Mairbek Taisumov (@MairbekTaisumov) October 20, 2015
Just @ryanhallbjj and @GunniNelson rolling @SBG_Ireland #tuesday pic.twitter.com/iw6QosI2vh— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) October 20, 2015
@John_Kavanagh @GunniNelson @SBG_Ireland honored to have the chance to train with such a great team! Will be an awesome week!— Ryan Hall (@ryanhallbjj) October 20, 2015
Jan 2nd @ufc needs a Co-Main I nominate @AndreiArlovski vs Me guarantee 2016 Started with a BANG @danawhite @lorenzofertitta @arielhelwani— Big Ben Rothwell (@RothwellFighter) October 21, 2015
Boom!!!! Next invictafc I will Fight 140lbs! Minha próxima luta no... https://t.co/zluRw8KRUd— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) October 20, 2015
2 members of @sportireland at my front door today at 7am looking for my urine on behalf of @usantidoping. I gladly welcome these measures.— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) October 20, 2015
So I was released from the UFC. Thanks everyone for support and see you soon. #BounceBack #Return— Paweł Pawlak (@PawlakMMA) October 20, 2015
No bueno.... pic.twitter.com/kDezBC6J2r— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) October 21, 2015
Announced yesterday (Oct. 20 2015)
Tom Lawlor out, Corey Anderson vs. Fabio Maldonado at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson
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