Alan Nascimento, the jiu-jitsu coach at Allstars Training Center in Sweden, has had the opportunity to see the likes of Alexander Gustafsson and Khamzat Chimaev in the gym on a daily basis. According to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, fans input played a key role in Gustafsson’s decision to return to his original weight class following a loss to Fabricio Werdum at heavyweight in July 2020. “Wherever we went, the local fans asked him to return to his original weight,” Nascimento told Sherdog.com.
With that, Gustafsson is scheduled to return to action at 205 pounds against Nikita Krylov at UFC London on July 23.
“Returning to Europe will be amazing for him,” Nascimento said. “It’s really interesting how Gustafsson is motivated by the new generation. Besides being the biggest name in Swedish MMA, Alex is an idol for the whole new generation who train with us today. And not only in Sweden, his historical fights with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier and the fact that he already beaten Glover [Teixeira] and [Jan] Blachowicz, certainly would give him a quick patch back to the top if he beats Nikita and two other opponents.”
Nascimento says that people come from all over Europe to train with the likes of Gustafsson and Chimaev. Among those who have made frequent stops at Allstars Training Center is recently-crowned light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka.
“He did his last camp before signing with the UFC here with us and there was a historical sparring [session] between him and Chimaev, where they were both trying to kill each other. Everyone here in the gym always recalls that crazy sparring,” Nascimento says.
According to the Brazilian coach, Chimaev is really anxious for the UFC to book his next fight.
“Since he is currently weighing (210 pounds), I advised him to fight someone from middleweight in August, and then return to welterweight in October,” Nascimento said. “Since [Derek] Brunson already defeated Darren Till, he liked that possibility, but everything will depend on the UFC’s decision. If the UFC gets Nate Diaz for August and Belal Muhammad for October, he will be ready. What he wants most is to stay active.”