Alexander Gustafsson Bio: Early Life, Career,Stats & Net Worth

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Alexander Gustafsson, also nicknamed “The Mauler,” is a Swedish MMA(Mixed Martial Artist) fighter. With a Pro MMA Record: 18-7-0 (Win-Loss-Draw), he competes in the UFC’s heavyweight division (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

This professional wrestler is in affiliation with Allstars Training Center, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden.

Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson (source: Instagram)

Quick Facts

Full Name Alexander Lars-Ake Gustafsson
Date of Birth 15 January 1987 (aged: 34 years old as of July 2021)
Birthplace Arboga, Sweden
Nickname The Mauler
Religion Christianity
Nationality Swedish
Ethnicity White
Horoscope Capricorn
Father’s Name N/A
Mother’s Name Eleonora Gustafsson
Siblings four younger sisters (names unknown)
Height 6’4″ (1.96 m)
Weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Black
Build Athletic
Profession MMA fighter
Team Allstars Training Centre
Division Light heavyweight (2007-2019)

Heavyweight (2020)

Rank A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Active Years 2007-present
Marital Status Engaged
Wife’s Name Moa
Children Daughter (Eva) and a Son(Eston)
Residence Stockholm, Sweden
Net Worth $ 400 thousand
Social Media Instagram, Twitter
Merch Signed UFC Card, Posters
Last Update May, 2024


UFC’s number one light heavyweight champion, Alexander Gustafsson, is built with athletic muscles standing high at 6’4″.

Specifically, he has got that rectangular face structure with black eyes and typical Swedish blonde hair. At the same time, Gustafsson’s boxer’s ears bloom as he smiles, giving the retro vibe of a Viking.

Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson (source: Instagram)

Early Life

Alexander Lars-Ake Gustafsson was born to his parents in a small town called Arboga, two hours drive to Stockholm. He grew along with his four younger sisters.

He was raised by his mother, Eleonora Gustafsson, and his step-father since his parents separated early. Although Alexander’s biological father lived in another city, he had a close relationship with him. His birth father used to struggle with alcohol abuse.

Since his juvenile years, he wasn’t much into academics and was always wanting to go for sports. Therefore, he tried every sport such as football, welding, and hockey, but he realized he was made inside the boxing ring every minute.

Beginning of Career

Gustafsson’s teenage years were rather stressful; hence, he would often end up in brawls with a lack of guidance. For the first time at the age of 15, he got caught up in an amateur scene. Later, being an 18-year-old teenager, he was prisoned for an aggravated assault upon a brother and sister after getting drunk.

Following his release in 2006, his friend cum fan recommended him to MMA. He found the MMA Training Centre run by the Swedish MMA pioneer, August Wallen. Thus, he left his troubles and the city behind to train for MMA.

Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson | Stepping Stone

Even though Alexander Gustafsson has been in the boxing field since 1997, he first won National Championship(junior level) in 2003. However, his official MMA training started only after 2006. Before stepping into his fight career, he had different jobs as a construction worker, bouncer in clubs, and a scuba divemaster.

Gustafsson made his debut in MMA after defeating Saku Heikola in 2007. Between 2008-2009, he quickly returned to boxing, where he won an amateur Swedish heavyweight boxing tournament. Without being able to compete in a national championship event, his newly formed boxing career came to the edge the following year in 2010.

Alexander Gustafsson | Matches Before UFC

Firstly, Gustafsson commenced competing in the martial art form of shootfighting. He had a shot record of 5-1, where 4 wins were by knockout, and 1 was via decision. In the 2007 Kaisho Battle event, Mats Nilsson defeated him due to the split decision.

Secondly, he entered small Submission Wrestling and Grabbing matches across the parts of Europe and Sweden. He remained aloof amidst all the matches held. However, his noteworthy victory came on 13 March 2008 after bringing down the German Prospect  Florian Muller through a knockout in the second round.

At the end of the same year, followed by the conquest against Matteo Minonzio, he replaced his former opponent Florian Muller with Poland’s top prospect Krzysztof Kulak. Despite the short prior notice, Gustafsson won the match against Krzysztof Kulak with several knockouts earning enough united decisions.

Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson

His endmost match was with the European Veteran Vladimir Shemarov on 30 May 2009 at Superior Challenge 3. In the very first round, he got an easy success through a knockout.

By the year 2009, he had the perfect pro records of 8-0, with 6 wins from KO/TKO, 1 each by submission, and decision.

Alexander Gustafsson Professional Life | UFC

Alexander made his debut in UFC in November 2009, right after his win against Jared Hamman with a straight right punch in the first round. However, his first loss came in April 2010 to Phil Davis at UFC 112 due to an Anaconda choke.

After half a year from Phil, Gustafsson won at UFC 120 against MMA and kickboxing veteran Cyrille Diabate in round 2 via submission. He reasoned his success due to his months he spent at Alliance MMA in the training camp.

He opened up his training to be with UFC fighters; Phil Davis, Dominick Cruz, Brandon Vera, Joey Beltran, and Travis Browne. He worked with them on improvising his speed and strength.

Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson

Gustafsson’s UFC Wins

Starting since the year 2011, the below-highlighted points are the victories of Alexander Gustafsson:

  • 21 February, 2011= Alexander first fought with James Te Huna at UFC 127. His victory was passed through submission in the first round.
  • 6 August, 2011= He was expected to face  Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 133 but was pulled out. Hence, Gustafsson faced Matt Hamill and won the match in the second round via straight punch, followed by uppercuts and knockout.
  • 30 December, 2011= At UFC 141, Alexander eventually stood upon a match with Vladimir Matyushenko. After dropping his opponent with jabs and punches in the ground in the first round, he took the game.
  • 14 April 2012= Gustafsson was expecting to face  Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC on FuelTV 2 in Sweden. However, due to Nogueria’s injury, Thiago Silva replaced him. Alexander then dominated the match with his effective outstrike, taking him down in both first and the second round. He celebrated his win by the unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28).
  • 8 December 2012=, Gustafsson accepted the fight with Maurício Rua at UFC on Fox 5. He landed six takedowns on Rua, showcasing all his wrestling and powerful strikes, which gave him an easy victory.
  •  6 April 2013=; finally, Gustafsson had a match with former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi at UFC on Fuel TV 9. However, due to his sparring season, he was left with a cut making him unclear. Thus, UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi (one of Alexander’s main training partners) replaced Alexander.

Alexander Gustafsson Title Shot | 2013 International Fighter of The Year

On 21 September 2013, Alexander Gustafsson bagged the title shot after his match with UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. It was the main event at UFC 165, where Gustafsson challenged Jones as he would do with any other fighter.

During the match, Jon Jones got a deep cut in his right eye but still, he dominated the latter rounds in the ring.  Jon ended the match with heavy strikes celebrating success; however, he was taken to the hospital in an emergency. Jones claimed the match to be his one of the hardest ever.

This very match has been claimed as the greatest light heavyweight fight of all time. It was awarded the ‘World MMA Award’ and even ‘2013 Fight of The Year‘. Both Jonas and Gustafsson received the “Fight of The Night” bonus for their performances.

UFC Fight Night 37

On 8 March 2014, at UFC Fight Night 37, Alexander Gustafsson got a chance to face against Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Shortly, after 5 days of match fixation, Nogueira explained that he never intended to fight against Gustafsson.

Hence, striker Jimi Manuwa replaced Nogueira at the same event where he was handed the foremost loss. Alexander claimed both Fights of the Night and Performance of the Night awards as he passed showers of punches and a knockout to Manuwa.

In the meantime, during the interview, Gustafsson dedicated his victory to his biological father, who had passed away just a week ago.

UFC Fight Night 37 with Gustafsson and Manuwa
UFC Fight Night 37 with Gustafsson and Manuwa (source: Instagram)

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones

UFC President Dana White wanted a rematch between the legendary fighters Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones. Immediately, on 21 April 2014, Dana White stated the possibility for the rematch in Sweden Stadium.

Later, on 24 May 2014, Dana White reserved the date 30 August 2014 for the rematch in Las Vegas at UFC 177. However, the date and venue for the match were proved to be unofficial. Furthermore, the fight was still on hold on 2 June 2014, on which Dana expressed, “Jon Jones doesn’t want to fight Gustafsson.”

Right after that, on 5 June 2014, the UFC confirmed the rematch on 27 September at UFC 178. The fight, which was to be held in Toronto but later, got shifted to Las Vegas. In either way, due to Alexander’s torn meniscus, he was forced to pull out from the match. At the end of the day, Daniel Cormier replaced Gustafsson.

Art on Jones vs Gustafsson
Art on Jones vs. Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson | Walkthrough (2015-2020)

Alexander Gustafsson was to be linked with Rashad Evans on 24 January 2015, at UFC on Fox 14 but had to match Anthony Johnson. During that time, Rashad was in rehabilitation for his knee injury, which would still take a while.

In the match with Anthony Johnson, the winner would fight for the title shot against Jon Jones. However, Gustafsson lost the match in the first round through TKO, his career’s first strike stop.

On 20 June 2015, Alexander faced Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 69, but he was removed due to his back injury. Following it, Gustafsson’s match with Daniel Cormier on 5 September 2015 at UFC 191 was also delayed due to his back injury.

Gustafsson and Cormier fought on 3 October 2015 at UFC 192. Gustafsson lost the match by split decision, but he could land two takedowns in the second round. Their performance earned both fighters the Fight of the Night awards.

Alexander then fought Jan Błachowicz on 3 September 2016 at UFC Fight Night 93, which he won by the united decision.


On 19 November 2016, Ryan Bader replaced Gustafsson against Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100. Accordingly, Gustafsson was sidelined from training and competitions as he was citing his back injury.

In the main event of UFC Fight Night at 109, on 28 May 2017, Alexander had a reschedule match with Glover Teixeira. Nevertheless, Gustafsson dominated continuous four rounds and knocked Glover out at the start of the fifth round. Hence, both fighters earned Fight of the Night awards.

After this certain match, Alexander was to face Luke Rockhold. But in the end, Luke cited an injury; thus, he had to pull out. Hence, Gustafsson faced Volkan Oezdemir on 4 August 2018 at UFC 227. However, on 19 July 2018, Volkan reported a nose injury also, pulling out of the game.

Wrestler Gustafsson
Wrestler Gustafsson

Unfortunately, on 22 July 2018, Gustafsson suffered a hamstring injury. Therefore, he also pulled out of the match.

After his return on 10 October, it was publicized to have a match with Jon Jones. The date was fixed on 29 December 2018 at UFC 232 for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Sadly, he lost the fight by a technical knockout in the third round, which led him to a groin injury due to Jones’s knee.

Retirement and shift to Heavyweight

Simultaneously, on 1 June 2019, Gustafsson lost in the match with Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 153. Smith used his rear-naked choke technique, and Gustafsson had to accept defeat in the fourth round.

At the very moment, Alexander announced his retirement from MMA, took off his gloves, laid them on the floor of the octagon, and said, “The show is over, guys.”

However, the news of his comeback circulated after just a few months into his retirement. On December 11, 2019, Gustafsson took the Swedish MMA prospect Anton Turkalj in a grappling match in Sweden.

During the interview on 3 April 2020, Gustafsson revealed about his training trip to America as COVID 19 ban lifts. He added that the outcome of the trip would determine his comeback.

On 5 April 2020, Gustafsson’s short-lived retirement came to an end.

He appeared in a scheduled match on 26 July 2020 with the former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. As part of the heavyweight division through UFC on ESPN 14, sadly, Alexander’s return to active MMA competition in the UFC commenced with a loss.

“You can’t be too comfortable. I have to keep pushing myself to be a better fighter every step of the way.”

-Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson | Training

Gustafsson trains at Allstars Training Centre in Stockholm, run by Gustafsson’s head coach Andreas Michael (former boxing coach and former amateur boxing coach for the Swedish Olympic team). However, Gustafsson has been training almost all his career life in Native Sweden.

Additionally, Alexander had been training at Alliance MMA as part-time with Davis in San Diego, California, after the game with Phil Davis at UFC 112. Back then, rumors surfaced as he would train only in Sweden, which was later declined by Alexander.

Alexander Gustafsson while training
Alexander Gustafsson while training(source: Instagram)

Since then, Alliance MMA and Allstars Training Centre have been in a close relationship. In fact, fighters from both the group exchanges take turns in training both sides.

Gustafsson’s Fighting Style

Alexander Gustafsson is efficient with his heavy strikes and fast footwork movements. Also, his boxing foundation gives him a huge variance of combinations.

He keeps himself mostly out of his opponent’s reach to find his own openings. Not to mention, the UFC has helped him in his offensive and defensive wrestling.

You may also like Felice Herrig.

Alexander Gustafsson Personal Life

Gustafsson’s mother, Eleonora Gustafsson, named him Alexander Lars-Ake Gustafsson after Alexander, The Great. His mother claims to have made him the great one.

Similarly, Gustafsson’s training partners nicknamed him ‘The Mauler’ at the beginning of his career. It referred to him because of his killer instinct set lose to finish the opponent in a reckless way and for his powerful strikes.

Gustafsson has devotion towards Christianity; therefore, he was very close with the pastor Wiggo Carlsson. But the pastor passed away early in 2012.

Gustafsson is a long-time friend with two-division boxing world champion Badou Jack. They first met each other on the amateur boxing scene in Stockholm in 2007–2008. Since then, they have been occasional training and sparring partner.

Johan Falk
Johan Falk (source: Facebook)

Gustafsson has also starred in the Swedish mainstream movie Johan Falk – Blood Diamonds, which premiered in 2015.


Alexander Gustafsson has his own collection of tattoos and they hold some specific meanings for him. 

Near above his left chest, Alexander Gustafsson has a tattoo of a dog face. Well, it is his pet dog, Ghostface that he lost before. 

Furthermore, on his left shoulder, he has tattooed a Red Indian Chief. As in detail, it features a crown of a bird on its head extending towards his left collar bone.

Additionally, Alexander has another tattoo of Spade from a deck of cards. It is tattooed on his right upper arm. This large tattoo consists of inverted triangles below. 


  • I’m never satisfied, I always want to do better. That’s how it is to be an elite athlete, you’re never happy. When you start getting happy and you start feeling satisfied, you’re done.
  • Stay positive, even if you’re fighting for your life.
  • I’m a fighter and I just want to fight better guys all the time, tougher guys so I just want to beat better guys and my goal is to be number one day so if I get a chance to fight a better guy I’ll do it, anytime, anywhere.

Alexander Gustafsson | Love Life

The UFC Champion fighter Alexander Gustafsson began a relationship in 2015 with Moa.

Later, the wrestler proposed her for engagement inside the octagon right after defeating  Glover Teixeira in his hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.

The duo had their first child, Eva, in May 2017, while their second child, Eston, in September 2018.

Wife Moa with children
Wife Moa with children(Eva and Eston) (Source: Instagram)

Alexander Lars-Ake Gustafsson | Net Worth

Gustafsson is reported to have a net worth of $ 400 thousand as of 2024. Being a Skilled MMA fighter, most of his earnings are from martial arts.

Since 2019, Alexander Gustafsson is a part-owner of Swedish mixed martial arts promotion AK Fighting Championship.

Altogether, he has career earnings of $733,000. Well, Alexander has a brand deal with Gatorade and a sponsorship deal with Reebok. 

Alexander Gustafsson Social Media

Alexander Gustafsson is quite active on social media as he is posting posts every one or two days. Currently, we can even find a book written on him, “The Mauler.”

Instagram handle @alexthemauler
Twitter handle @AlexTheMauler

Alexander Gustafsson FAQs

Who is Alexander Gustafsson’s idol in combat sports?

Alexander Gustafsson draws his inspiration from MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and considers him as his idol.

Does Alexander Gustafsson do drugs or smoke?

Having used drugs and smoke cigars, many celebrities have been caught. While some even openly admit about their usage. However, Gustafsson is a clean athlete.

Is Alexander Gustafsson gay or straight?

While the rumors spread far and wide, but Alexander Gustafsson isn’t gay.

What is Alexander Gustafsson doing in 2020?

There is no information regarding Alexander’s schedule. However, 2020 is supposedly his hectic year as he has made his comeback in a heavy division.

Will Alexander Gustafsson retire after a failed heavyweight debut?

As far as the sources, Alexander Gustafsson will be staying on the Heavyweight champion. We can’t simply decide the future of Alexander Gustafsson in the heavyweight division from such a short fight against Fabricio Werdum.

What are Alexander Gustafsson’s workout and diet routine like?

As given, Alexander Gustafsson is quite a health-conscious person and does a lot to maintain his body structure. According to him, he trains three to four times a day and focuses on strength. 

He invested himself in exercises like deadlifts, pullups, and jerks. During his training camp, Alexander eats chicken, salad, and rice. 

Rajani Gurung
Rajani Gurung
Hey, I'm Rajani! As a digital content writer, I write for several websites on a wide range of topics. At Playersbio, I cover to write about hot trending celebrities and news. My professional experience makes me write the hard topics in a simplified manner for easiness.

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