Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones is widely-regarded as one of the best fights in UFC history – and this summer, it’ll be officially recognized as such.
The UFC 165 headliner between the longtime light heavyweight champion and challenger will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) spoke on his induction, calling it an “honor.”
“It’s a huge honor for me to be mentioned in there with those guys – (the best) of all time,” Gustafsson said. “This fight with Jon, we know was one of the best fights ever. It’s big for me. I’m very happy to be a part of it and be up there with all the other guys in that Hall of Fame division. It’s a very big honor for me to be there.
“I learned a lot after that fight about myself. Even if I lost that fight, I still went from basically a no one to someone to people are talking about me. It was a big turnaround in my career for sure.”
What does Gustafsson remember most from the September 2013 showdown? The Swede recalls a mixture of emotional and physical feelings, experiencing exhaustion, pride and disappointment simultaneously.
“I was pretty tired after that fight, first of all. It was my first five-round fight I did,” Gustafsson said. “I was pretty tired and I remember my disappointment when my hand wasn’t raised. At the same time, I felt a lot of pride in my performance. I also felt from the team that even if I lost, it was still a big moment for me and my team. It’s a mixture of feelings, but it’s mostly good. It’s definitely a memory I’ll have with me the rest of my life.”
One of the most prolific moments surrounding his first fight against Jones didn’t actually take place during the fight itself. After both fighters were transported to the hospital, Gustafsson and Jones posed for a picture in the emergency room. The image went viral.
“I was pretty much walking around there, waiting to get out of there – from the hospital,” Gustafsson said. “I think my buddy saw Jon laying on the bed. I was in another room and my friend said, ‘Ah, Jon is over there.’ I looked out and saw him laying there. I went up to him and showed him some respect. We were talking about the fight and my friend asked to take the picture. Then we took the picture.
“If I remember correctly, I think it was more like he gave me some credit for the fight. We also talked about how good the fight was. It went up and down the whole fight. We talked about those details and stuff like that.”
In the video above, check out Alexander Gustafsson’s comments on his UFC Hall of Fame induction.