(The often scruffy, always inscrutable Alexander Gustafsson | Photo via MMAnytt.se)
Yesterday we shared a report that quoted UFC light heavyweight
champion contender Alexander Gustafsson as saying that he no longer planned to train in San Diego with the Alliance team or Phil Davis before fights. “Now I’m in that stage of my career that I will compete three or four times a year, so I can not hold on and go off all the time,” Gustafsson said. “It costs too much and it takes too much time away from my family. It’s simply not worth it.”
Furthermore, Gustafsson said that he believed that he and Davis would soon fight again so, you know…awkward. “We both belong to the top, and that’s not a difficult guess that we’ll meet again soon…it feels better to not train together right now,” Gus said.
Well, Gustafsson’s head trainer Andreas Michael is now saying that the media took the fighter’s words out of context. In an interview with Kimura.se the coach says that the media interpreted Gustafsson’s statements incorrectly in order to “sell” the news. Kimura.se reports that Michael also said that “the partnership between the Alliance and Alex / Allstar Fitness that it will continue cooperation for a long time to come. Thoughts on finishing the fine relationship that the two clubs have between them does not exist and has never existed.
“Rumors of a bout between Davis and Alex is also not [accurate], it is just something the media created out of thin air.”
Well, not so much “thin air” as they were Gustafsson’s own words, but alright. Michael certainly seems upsets by the reports of Gustafsson’s leaving Alliance but doesn’t actually refute any of the important specifics — namely that Alexander will hold his training camps in Sweden instead of San Diego from now on and that the Swedish fighter believes it is inevitable that he and Davis will fight again soon so he prefers not to train with the national champion wrestler right now.
If Gustafsson’s coach won’t refute any of the reported facts, why is he so upset? Who knows?
Perhaps Gustafsson wasn’t supposed to talk publicly about his plans before all the details could be worked out. It isn’t uncommon for teams to enter into business relationships in which fighters sign to train with and pay a percentage of their purses for a set period of time or number fights.
If that is/was the case with Gustafsson and Alliance, he may still need to figure out how to fulfill a contract to them and/or pay them fees even if he wants to train elsewhere. Alliance head coach Eric Del Fierro told MMA Junkie that he didn’t know how Gustafsson camps would proceed because he hadn’t been told, but seemed to express optimism that he and Alliance would still be able to work in consultation with the fighter, remotely, as they did before Alexander trained to fight Gegard Mousasi.