After Cormier’s victory over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220, many taught he will face Alexander Gustafsson in a title fight.
Alexander Gustafsson is a Light Heavyweight contender for a very long period of time. He was losing Daniel Cormier and Jon Bones Jones in close fights. Unfortunately, despite he is a No.1 contender, his third title shot didn’t happen. Cormier was given a chance to face in a super fight against the Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. Since Cormier abandons 205-pound division, Gustafsson confessed he is shocked with that move. (quoted by MMAFighting.com)
“I’ve been a little bit frustrated,” Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour, “because I was counting on the DC fight. Me and him fighting for the belt again, that was my plan. That was my plan basically, and it didn’t end up like that, so it’s been a little bit frustrating. I’ve been injured for a while too. I got injured not long after the fight I had against Glover [Teixeira], so I’m really motivated. I’ve been out for a while and I’m just tired of being out such a long period of time. I just want to be active and I feel the fire and I feel the motivation.”
“And now when [Cormier] goes up a weight class, we’re just sitting there on the sideline watching everything happen. So I’m a little bit frustrated, a little bit disappointed.”
Alexander Gustafsson didn’t hide his anger from the public eye. Both rivals were exchanging comments on Twitter since UFC 226 was booked. The situation became more complicated when Cormier’s friend, Luke Rockhold, became the potential Gustafsson’s opponent. Cormier even described “the Gustafsson way” in one of the tweets.
When he was asked on Monday about word exchange, he gave a short answer.
“I don’t know what to say to that just more than, I’m not the one disappearing here,” Gustafsson said. “He knows I’m here and he knows I’m waiting for him. It feels like he’s just playing it safe, and he has everything to gain in that [UFC 226] fight and nothing to lose.”
Alexander Gustafsson already tries to look for another matchup and stay busy while DC focuses on Miocic. He would like Rockhold for his next opponent but all the cards remain open.
However, there is a possibility Daniel Cormier will become a two-division champion. If he has to choose, Gustafsson believes it will be Heavyweight division. In the case Cormier doesn’t want to go for a weight cut, Alexander Gustafsson has already prepared his strategy.
“Then I guess I have to do something about it,” Gustafsson said. “Maybe I need to eat a little bit more food or go up one weight class too. I don’t know, let’s see what happens. I just want to have another good run with him, and he has the belt, he has what I want. I hope he comes down. If he doesn’t, then we’ll have to sort it out somehow.”
The Mauler hasn’t finished his job in Light Heavyweight. He claims that he would be chasing the belt, no matter which division is.
If Luke Rockhold isn’t his next opponent, Alexander Gustafsson will find himself in a tricky situation – 2 of 5 Light Heavyweight contenders are his teammates and good friends – Ilir Latifi and Jimi Manuwa. Unfortunately, the list of potential rivals is not huge, and there is a chance he will have to think of facing his teammates soon.
“It is a tricky situation,” Gustafsson admitted.
“As it comes to now and my positioning now, I’m just feeling that it doesn’t matter what happens, I’m just here to take that belt. That’s what my focus is and my purpose is right now. And of course I’m happy for the guys. They’re winning and we have a really strong team, and that’s something that means a lot to me. But I have my goal. I have my eyes and my focus on that belt right now.”
Alexander Gustafsson believes he will get his answer soon. He fought only once per year during 2016 and 2017. The Mauler wants to be as active as possible during 2018.
“I’m injury-free, I’m back in full training, and I had a great showing against Glover, but there’s so much more of me,” Gustafsson said. “I’m here and I’m waiting a good fight, a good opportunity, and that’s about it. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what the plans are for our division and all of that.
“There is a conversation and that’s how much I know now. We’re talking to the UFC about it and trying to find a way to solve this, solve this and come back and start competing again.”
What do you think, is there a chance for Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier to face again?