UFC: Alexander Gustafsson vows to rise above battle with self

Gustafsson vows to fight again in 2016, but awaits who will be pitted against him and when.

Alexander Gustafsson is still picking up the pieces from a series of tough losses in the last three years.

In recent fights, Gustafsson has had tough finishes against Jon “Bones” Jones and Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight championship, plus received a horrible beating at the hands of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in front of his hometown fans in Stockholm, Sweden.

As a result, Alexander Gustafsson has had trouble in picking himself up mentally to stay in shape in preparation for his first fight in 2016. To set his mind straight again, he moved to San Diego to set up camp with Alliance MMA, a team he worked with for multiple training camps in his 12 fights in the UFC.

“I’m just feeling like I have a tough time with my motivation,” Gustafsson told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour on SBNation. “It goes from time to time. Some days it’s better, some days it’s a little bit worse.”

“It’s been getting worse, that I’m losing that happiness in training, that motivation,” Gustafsson said. “If you just train because you have to train, it’s not the right reasons. It’s not always shine and good feelings in training. But when it comes down to it you need to have that happiness and motivation in training.”

Alexander GustafssonGustafsson (16-4, won-lost) went the distance against both Jones and Cormier, but came up short in the fifth rounds of those fights. He believes that goes back to some of his issues with motivation.

“If you don’t have that happiness in you, it’s gonna be tough to motivate yourself in those hard rounds, last rounds,” he said.

Despite going through struggles, Gustafsson said he has no plans to end his career just yet, but awaits when his next fight will be and against whom.

“It’s hard to just go one day from another to being one of the best fighters in the world to just stop doing what you love to do. I am a fighter and it’s what I do, what I live for. Quitting is actually not an option if you put the cards on the table. It’s just emotions, feelings. It’s what you have to battle every day as an athlete,” said Gustafsson.

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