Anthony “Lionheart” Smith went into enemy territory and defeated Alexander Gustafsson.
In the main event of UFC Fight Night Stockholm on Saturday, Smith submitted Gustafsson to hush the crowd, beating the native of Sweden and No. 2-ranked light heavyweight via rear-naked choke in the fourth round.
After the bout, Gustafsson appeared to announce his retirement.
“The show is over, guys,” the 32-year-old said as he took his gloves off and laid them in the middle of the Octagon.
Following the fight, Gustafsson appeared to confirm his retirement to UFC announcer Brendan Fitzgerald on the E+ post-fight show.
“Yeah, I am. I’m done,” he said, according to. “It feels like I don’t have it in me anymore. I just have a feeling. It’s time now. I don’t want to be a journeyman.”
Heweeks prior to the fight that, “If (Smith) beats me, maybe I don’t have it anymore.”
Smith, the fourth-ranked fighter in the light heavyweight division, appeared to be ahead on points after the first two rounds while controlling the majority of the action. He bloodied Gustafsson’s shin with a kick and chased his opponent around the Octagon.
Gustafsson bounced back in the third round with more offense and a takedown.
However, Smith scored a takedown of his own in the fourth round and managed to get Gustafsson’s back. He broke his opponent down with a ground and pound before finally sinking in the choke.
Both fighters were looking to rebound from loses to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Gustafsson hadn’t fought since losing to Jones for a second time at UFC 232 in December. Meanwhile, Smith’s quick rise to the top of the division was stalled, along with a three-fight win streak, at UFC 235 in March when Jones cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
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