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Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson admits he nearly quit MMA after KO loss to Anthony Johnson

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After suffering the most devastating loss of his career, UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson says he nearly hung it up.

Gustafsson suffered a brutal, first-round TKO loss at the hands of No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson in January at UFC on FOX 14.

Aside from losing out on another shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Gustafsson was rudely dispatched on his home turf in Stockholm, Sweden.

Only the second stadium show in the promotion's history, the event enjoyed the second biggest attendance in company history as over 30,000 fans gathered inside the Tele2 Arena.

"It has definitely been my most difficult period in life so far," Gustafsson told Swedish newspaper Expressen. "I was completely serious about quitting MMA. I don't care really about the title, it was that it happened in front of my home crowd. My cousins were in place. It just took it too hard. I didn't have the will to continue. I was really close to quitting. But I have received so much love from fans, loved ones and my team."

Gustafsson will now face fellow former challenger Glover Teixeira June 20 in Berlin.

Snapping an eight-year undefeated streak, Teixeira lost back to back fights against Jones at UFC 172 and Phil Davis at UFC 179. He hasn't recorded a win since scoring a first-round 'Knockout of the Night' against Ryan Bader in September 2013.

"I had to bite the sour apple and now I have a new fight that made me very motivated," said Gustafsson. "If I had not wanted to do this anymore, I would have stopped. But I want to continue. There is no doubt about it. No one is forcing me. I'm not doing this for money, but to be the best in the world."



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