UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and reigning light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones have shared the Octagon with Alexander Gustafsson. The former title contender announced his decision to retire over the weekend following a submission loss to Anthony Smith in his native home of Sweden.

Cormier, then the holder of the 205-pound title in the UFC, defeated Gustafsson back in 2015 at UFC 192 via split decision. The defense was the first of his title reign at that time.

"Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey," Cormier wrote on Instagram. "We've agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed!

"I understand the motivation changes and for you it is now your family. I say now you're starting to really live the good life. Congrats on a great career my man! You're a hammer! See you around."

Jones, meanwhile, thinks "The Mauler" will feel the itch to return to action again. Twice before he has fought Gustafsson, claiming a decision back in 2013 at UFC 163 and finishing him this past December at UFC 232.

"Honestly, I don't believe you but if you're serious, thank you for everything," Jones wrote on Twitter. "You held the division to a standard and made us better."