Alexander Gustafsson has revealed that a strike from Jon Jones early in the first round left him with a groin injury that hampered his performance for the rest of their rematch at UFC 232 on Saturday night.
“He got me very, very early in the first round,” Gustafsson said revealed at the post-fight press conference. “Very early. After that I just shut down. I wasn’t tired, I had my conditioning. I felt good. We had our exchanges and everything. He just shut me down very early in the first round and I couldn’t move at all. I told my corner that too and all that. He did what he was supposed to do and made sure he won the fight.”
Gustafsson also addressed the issue of where he thought Jones’ abnormal pre-fight drug test, which revealed he still had tiny traces of turinabol in his system from a previous drug suspension, and stated that he didn’t believe it made any difference to his rival’s performance.
“Not really (any different),” Gustafsson said of the way Jones performed compared to their previous encounter five years ago. “He just keeps a very high level of fighting. I was prepared for it. He just caught me this time. That’s it. I didn’t notice anything about if he was stronger or faster or anything. He went for his takedowns and his kicks and everything like that. I was prepared for it. He just had a really good move today and he shut me down.”
Gustafsson also insisted that despite now having coming up second best against Jones on two separate occasions, he still believes he can work his way back to the top again
“It’s not over yet,” Gustafsson said. “Let’s see what’s next. Like always, you do this for a reason. That is to compete with the best guys out there, and that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do it as long as it’s fun.”