Just In Daniel Cormier pays tribute to ‘hammer’ Alexander Gustafsson after retirement MMA Life

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Daniel Cormier has nothing but respectful words for Alexander Gustafsson after his one-time title fight opponent retired from MMA on Saturday.

Following a submission loss to Anthony Smith in the UFC on ESPN+ 11 headliner, Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC), who is a three-time UFC title challenger, announced he was going to walk away from competition for good.

Since Gustafsson revealed his decision there’s been an outpour of reactions from within the MMA sphere. The Swede’s greatest career rival was skeptical upon hearing the news, but his second biggest rival Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC), showed nothing but support (via Instagram):

Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey. We’ve agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed! I understand the motivation changes and for you it is now your family. I say now you’re starting to really live the good life. Congrats on a great career my man! You’re a hammer! see you around @alexthemauler #themauler #ufc192 #AG #sweden 🇸🇪

Gustafsson and Cormier met in one of the best title fights light heavyweight history at UFC 192 in October 2015. “The Mauler” pushed Cormier to the brink and nearly claimed the belt, but fell short of the gold by split decision in a result that will contribute to his overarching career narrative.

There were moments since the first encounter where it seemed like a rematch might materialize, but ultimately it never came to fruition. Cormier is now the UFC heavyweight champion, while Gustafsson rides off into the sunset for the next chapter in life.

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