Alexander Gustafsson (18-4) stepped into a UFC octagon for the first time in eight months, Sunday night. He took the center stage in his home country, finishing Brazilian striking ace, Glover Teixeira (26-6) in incredible fashion before proposing to his girlfriend in the octagon.
The first round opened with a spinning kick from the Mauler, and his trademark rangy striking. Teixeira barreled forward with a huge takedown, but Gustafsson’s dexterity saw him rolling to his feet before returning to his assault from the outside. The Swede played the matador against the aggressive (but open) Brazilian. An eye poke briefly paused the action, but the two clashed once more after the intermission. Gustafsson began sniping from the outside, utilizing elusive footwork to keep himself safe from Teixeira’s strikes, while dealing damage until the final buzzer.
The second round saw Gustafsson land an elbow that backed up his Brazilian foe. Teixeira, however, ensured that the Swede also wore damage in the form of a cut above the eye. The Swede found himself cut off while on the exit, and receiving damage, before swimming in with vicious uppercuts. Gustafsson, having heavily bloodied his foe, continued his rangy offense before clinching, and dealing yet more damage with his Muay Thai. Teixeira comfortably maintained the center throughout the round, applying pressure and attempting (to limited avail) to cut off the cage from the Swede’s movement.
At the start of the third round, the Swede utilized his continual outside assault, eating several punches early, before rocking the Brazilian, taking him to the mat, and proceeding to lay down hell via leather-clad punches, and bony elbows. Teixeira, however, would not be held down so easily, and rolled for an armbar escape, then used his momentum to push Gustafsson to the fence for a short time before being taken down by the Swede. The Brazilian refused to be held down, and escaped to his feet, taking the center of the cage once more. Gustafsson, however, made the Brazilian pay for every step forward, lighting Teixeira up with his hands throughout the round.
The championship rounds began, and Gustafsson once more took the position of the outside fighter. Teixeira pressured forward with kicks and punches, absorbing the Swede’s onslaught from down range. Teixeira attempted to cut the corner, but the Swede bolted away, pressured the Brazilian, and finally puts him to the fence. The midpoint of the round found the Brazilian clinched against the fence, and Gustafsson unloading with his hands. The jab of Teixeira began finding its home, but the Brazilian found his offense disrupted by the rapid footwork of the Swede. A savage uppercut snapped the head back of the Brazilian, but Teixeira continued forward, throwing with ill intent throughout. The Mauler continued his onslaught until the bell with ruthless uppercuts and straight punches from the outside.
The final round saw Gustafsson, once more, playing the sniper. Teixeira’s face was visibly damaged, and the Swede began the round with more of a spring to his step. Over and over the uppercut landed, until Gustafsson closed the round with a savage overhand right, driving the Brazilian to the mat, and delaying his journey toward the championship with the final tolling of his bell. The fight was called to an end via TKO by referee Marc Goddard at 1:07 of round five.
After his impressive victory, the Swede called to the cage his long-time girlfriend, and knelt on the canvas where he has spilled his blood, sweat, and tears. In his triumphant moment, he reached out, took her hand, and asked her to take his hand in marriage. She accepted, and added to the brilliant triumph of the Swede’s night on his home soil.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 28, 2017