To get Gustafsson, the match up poses a opportunity to reclaim footing from the light heavyweight division following an unfortunate Dec. 2018 name taken against Jon Jones at UFC 232, which Gustafsson lost via third-round TKO. And though Stockholm symbolizes a quick turnaround for his opponent, the 32-year-old Swede is nonetheless expecting the best possible version of Smith to show up at the Ericsson Globe arena, and he knows that another bad night could spell tragedy for his upcoming prospects at 205 lbs.

“he ’s big hitter and he’s got a lot of heart and he’s got a lot of struggles behind him” Gustafsson said Monday on. “he ’s a guy with a good team behind him, and this will be a real challenge. And that’s I’m doing so, to challenge myself. When I beat him, I’m likely to just move in the positions. If I don’t beat him, if he defeats me, then maybe I don’t own it anymore. S O I’ll take it from there. ”

It is no secret that Gustafsson and Smith share a frequent thread. The two light heavyweight contenders would be both latest victims of Jones along with his newfound reign of dominance — Jones hauled Gustafsson with a one-sided attack in his comeback fight 232, then replicated the prefer by defending his light heavyweight strap earlier this month with a lopsided decision victory over Smith at UFC 235.

“he ’s in-shape and he feels like that I feel,” Gustafsson stated. “Like, he only lost and he would like to prove that he’so better than that which he showed, and he only wants to return to winning and fighting . I presume he’s in shape and that I presume he’s ready with it, also now he ’s ready to fight me and he wants to beat me, so that I understand him totally.

He showed some heart and he’d any damage and simply kept moving, so he’s a warrior and that I can’t wait to possess him over and give the fans a great show. ”

Gustafsson noted numerous times on Monday that his mindset is vastly different heading to Stockholm than it was for past struggles. For a long time, Gustafsson’s aims in the sport revolved solely around obtaining the light heavyweight — and to a lesser extent, avenging his Sept. 2013 first meeting with Jones at UFC 165, which ended in a controversial decision loss but still stands today as the toughest struggle of Jones’ career.

But now, along with his record against Jones sitting 0-2 along with his place in a fast-changing 205-pound landscape growing uncertain, Gustafsson has changed his concerns be focused on the problem and more dedicated to the here-and-now of his travel.

“I’m not thinking about the name,” Gustafsson stated. “I’ve ever been contemplating the name today for a very long period, and it’s merely been a stressful thing for me. It’s been there all the time around me — the name, the name, the name. It’s been a really long time passed between my fights. I just have to sit back for some time and choose this fight today and choose the following fight from then on, and be much active, and attempt to be a fighter and become more brighter. I’m still 32 yrs old, I don’t think I’m older from the match yet. I do think I have a great deal longer to give along with my entire body ’s fresh, I feel well, I’m with fun training. I’m just taking this struggle now in Stockholm, also that I beat Anthony Smith upward, and then we’ll go out of there, watch what the next challenge is.

“one hundred percent, this ’s how I feel right now,” he included. “I’m finished contemplating, ‘I have to go up for a title contender, I have to stress. ’ It’s nothing like this anymore. I’m just taking one struggle at the same time and attempting to fight the best guys, and have fun doing it. ”

Gustafsson will still have tons of good memories to draw on for his return into the Ericsson Globe. “The Mauler” has headlined two other events previously at the Stockholm venue. And he hopes history will repeat itself on June 1.

“I’ve never lost in this arena, The world,” Gustafsson stated. “” I presume it’s really good arena, I’ve got a good vibe inside.

“Getting the fans behind me is a great push. Whenever you’re training and heating up for the struggles, you have your friends around you, you now have friends which may compete and then we push each other. So, the Swedes are planning to war, basically, and that I could ’t wait to you should maintain there again and prove that I’m a lot much better than that which I showed the last time. ”

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