Alexander Gustafsson understands that if he beats Daniel Cormier when they scrap later this year, he’ll be the UFC’s light-heavyweight champ, but in name only…
Recently UFC boss man Dana White turned heads throughout MMA by announcing that Gustafsson, and not Ryan Bader, will fight Cormier next. Gustafsson is coming off a loss to Anthony Johnson, while Bader has won four straight, and has quite the beef going with the new champ.
That aside, Gustafsson is the only man to date who has really tested Jon Jones, who in addition to Bader, Cormier and “The Mauler”, has defeated a who’s who of the 205 division. Thus, this is why Gustafsson recently told Fightland the following:
“Whoever is holding the belt is the official champion, but everybody knows that the best guy out there is Jon Jones,” said Gustafsson. “He’s the pound for pound best guy in the world and you can probably only consider yourself a real world champion if you beat him.”
It’s pretty hard to argue with that line of thinking. The Swedish star also admitted in the interview that he also was surprised to hear that he’d be challenging for the belt next. Gustafsson, however, also relayed:
“The Johnson loss was very hard, it was a tough blow for my career. I was down for a while, I didn’t show up for training but now I feel like I’m on top of my game. I’ve got my passion and my motivation back, and I’ve got this huge title fight coming up so that helps as well.”
Although not everyone agrees with the UFC’s decision to go with Gustafsson, all of those people are going to tune in when he faces Cormier. It’s a compelling fight on so many levels.
The UFC has yet to book a date for the bout, but based off what Cormier and Gustafsson have said in recent interviews, it sounds like the fight will take place this fall.
The UFC’s next event goes down this Saturday in Mexico City. In the main event, heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez will take on interim champ, Fabricio Werdum.