UFC contender Gustafsson: ‘That belt is mine’

Alexander Gustafsson was pulled from Saturday's main event due to a cut he suffered in training. (AP/Gregory Payan)

Alexander Gustafsson is a man of few words, but when he speaks he does so with confidence.

That was apparent Tuesday when the UFC’s No. 1 light-heavyweight contender attended a press conference in Toronto promoting UFC 165, which takes place Sept. 21 at the Air Canada Centre.

Alongside his upcoming opponent, 205-pound champ Jon Jones, the 6-foot-5 Swede answered questions about his next challenge in a conventional way.

“I feel great. I’m so pumped for this fight,” Gustafsson said.

“I see the greatest test in my career. He’s a champion for a reason. I’m so ready for this fight. I’m ready, motivated.”

Pretty standard pre-fight quotes.

Though he didn’t say much, and when he did speak he kept his answers quite brief, Gustafsson said that seeing Chris Weidman knock out Anderson Silva at UFC 162 gave him a spark and motivated him.

“Everyone are human beings here, so everyone can lose,” added Gustafsson, who hasn’t fought since a win over Mauricio (Shogun) Rua in December 2012.

But afterwards, while speaking with UFC Central host Showdown Joe Ferraro and UFC welterweight Sean Pierson, the 15-1 fighter spoke with more conviction.

“That belt is mine. It’s mine already. I’m going to take that from him. That’s how it’s going to be.”

Time will tell whether Gustafsson’s mindset results in another underdog shocking a UFC champion.

For now, the next step for the 26-year-old is going back to Sweden for a week or so before heading to California to immerse himself in his training camp.

Watch the full UFC 165 press conference here.

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