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Alexander Gustafsson declares ‘the show is over’ following loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Entering the Octagon against Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm, former three-time challenger Alexander Gustafsson had one thing in mind: erasing the memory of his TKO loss to Jon Jones.

During the contest, Gustafsson struggled to put together much offense in the early rounds as Smith stalked him across the canvas with a barrage of strikes. With blood leaking from his shin, Gustafsson came out hyper-aggressive in the third frame as he battered Smith of a flurry of leg kicks and lightning quick combinations. He culminated the round with a thunderous liver kick, which sent Smith reeling towards the fence.

With his confidence soaring, Gustafsson looked to pick up right where he left off in the fourth frame. But an ill-timed takedown from Gustafsson gave Smith an opportunity to slice through his defenses with a pair of elbows and sink in the rear-naked choke, forcing the hometown hero to tap.

For Smith, this not only got him back into the win column but marked fifth win in his last six contests. However, for Gustafsson this marked his fourth loss in his last six outings and second in front of his countrymen.

Speaking with Dan Hardy inside the Octagon, a visibly emotion Gustafsson removed his gloves, dropped them to the canvas and declared “the show is over” before walking out of the Octagon.

Gustafsson (18-6) ends his career 14 career stoppage wins, including (T)KOs over Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa and Matt Hamill as well as decisions over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Thiago Silva and Jan Blachowicz. His title fights against Jones and Daniel Cormier remain some of the most celebrated in UFC history.

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