5 Minutes With Alexander Gustafsson

Photo by Justin Trapp Courtesy of Bad Boy

image descYou’re known for succinct
answers. Can we expect the same today?

Yes [laughing].

You have the biggest fight of your career coming up against Jon Jones at UFC 165 on September 21. It wasn’t clear you were going to get the next title shot after beating Shogun Rua. What did you think when you received the call?
It was a dream come true when I found out I was getting the fight. I couldn’t believe it. I really cannot express it in words how I felt. It was absolutely a dream come true. I’m living the dream. I’m super motivated, and I’m ready to go.

You’ve recently picked up your Twitter game and started coming after Jones over social media. How would you rate your Twitter skills these days?
They’re good. I was just trying to show a different side of myself and give fans a different look at Alexander Gustafsson. It’s a sport, but it’s also about putting on a show, and I just wanted to show I have some media skills, too.

Let’s talk about your home country of Sweden.
Perfect. My specialty.

I know the Italians have a lock on the meatball market, but the Swedish bring it hard in that category as well. Where do you stand on the issue?
[Laughing] Meatballs? Meatballs are great and very popular in Sweden. But I have to admit, I had some Italian meatballs the other day, and they were even better.

Are you playing both sides here?
I’m just saying…I like them both. The Swedish and Italian meatballs are different, but they both taste very good. I’m a fan of both.

While Swedish influence in MMA is growing, your country has already established dominance in America in the ready-to-assemble furniture market with IKEA. Are you a fan of the Swedish invasion IKEA has ignited?
It’s one of the biggest stores in Sweden, for sure. But just like Americans, I curse and cry when I put together their furniture [laughing]. But it is a great store.

In geography class in America, we learn about fjords. I’ve always questioned their actual existence, but rumor has it there are fjords in Sweden. Is there any truth to this phenomenon?
Yeah, we have fjords. It’s like a small river that runs between two mountains. They run down from the mountains and onto the landscapes in Sweden. Of course they are real.

We’ve watched you grow from prospect to title contender. What changes have you noticed about yourself along this journey?
I’ve learned that I need to work harder every day and never be satisfied. You can’t be too comfortable. I have to keep pushing myself to be a better fighter every step of the way.

With your height and size, is cutting weight difficult?
I cut weight easily, but all the foods I have to cut out of my diet are all the good ones.

Do your Euro-techno-dancing skills come in handy in the cage?
I don’t dance at all, but I do like listening to most music.

Are we going to have a new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in September?

Very succinct.
You know it.

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