(continued from where OP ended)
He was 15 when he was convicted of assault for the first time .
- As a youth , I always had a lot of energy . And I had no real goals. Thus, I had great parents, great family, but I did not know where I was going with all this energy .
- I ended up in negative ways and it became a destructive behavior .
You are convicted of aggravated assault , several times . How do you see it today?
- I can not defend it in any way. It is something I am ashamed of . It was ...
He's looking for the words .
- There were some circumstances when I grew up. It was very groupings and there were fights on the town. It lasted a few years , then I moved away. From Arboga to Gothenburg. To get away from all that.
"I was young, I was stupid '
Alexander Gustafsson got his final judgment in 2006.
The year before , he had been sentenced to imprisonment for one year and three months.
- The time in prison? It was hard. I was young, I was stupid . I left a secure home for a quite precarious existence, says Alex and gazing down into the silver screen.
What was the salvation for you? How did you become the person you are today?
- MMA. When I started with it so everything turned . It was really a wow experience . There was something special. I liked the special atmosphere at the club , including the guys . The instructors were very for discipline and structure , and I have had problems with it before. Now I got it there. And it was in connection with an interest I had.
- I realized pretty quickly that this was something I wanted to do , and that what I had been doing previously was not at all sustainable .
How was the feeling? Finding a sport and find your way in my whole life.
- It was a relief. From having been out with a destructive behavior - to that. " Wow, I'm free ! " . One ton lifted from my shoulders.
- And not only that . I saw how my parents lit up , my siblings , my grandmother. People who love one . Those who have always been there and supported me , even during the tough times . Now they saw that I had been given structure. I came home with a smile on his face. I had found a calling in life .
"The Mauler " quickly became a name in MMA. He won his first nine fights , and was known for his boxing and his rap footwork .
The friend passed away last year
Only five years after his debut , he was victorious in a crowded globe , and today he is a major international star.
- It has just grown and grown , becoming larger and larger. Now I'm an athlete. Now I live MMA.
What has your faith meant throughout this journey ?
- Huge lot. It is with me all the time. It gives a sense of security and a balance in life.
- And I must emphasize pastor Wiggo Carlsson. He was like my spiritual mentor. He gave me advice about most things and I got a peace of him. It was a great man. But he passed away last year , unfortunately ... I carried the coffin at his funeral .
"Alex" collects slightly . Then we will look back on the year that has passed .
- 2013 ... It's been tough that is. I have just joined a match and I lost . But much good has come from that game as well. There are mixed feelings.
Does it feel weird to get so much cred for a loss?
- Yes, indeed. I have won several years in a row , then cods I - and I have never received so much attention before. It feels a little half- fishy indeed. But so it is. I met the world's best fighter and made a good match. People had well figured out me in advance. But I'm a perfectionist, I want that belt, that's what I work for.
If you take up spåkulan then. What about 2014 ?
- First, I match now , March 8 in London. I meet Jimi Manuwa and should win against him. Then , hopefully , a re- match against Jon Jones , and take home the belt.
Aiming for new title match
You think of a new title fight next year ?
- Absolutely . Given that I go off so early , I believe absolutely that it is entirely possible.
But you know, one game at a time . How can you crack Manuwa ?
- He's tough ! I see it as my toughest match so far , actually. Because he's a lot like me . But ... He is an Alexander Gustafsson , firm two years ago , saying " The Mauler " and smiles.
- I plan to finish this game.