Immediately after Daniel Cormier defeated Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192, the champ had nothing but praise for the contender, and that hasn’t stopped. In fact, “DC” has opined that “The Mauler” is just as tough as him and former champ Jon Jones.
Cormier worked his way to narrow thin, split decision win over Gustafsson on October 3rd, in what was one of the best title fights in the promotion’s history. It marked the second time Gustafsson’s been involved in a “did that just happen” kind of championship fight. Back in 2013, he was decisioned by Jones, but provided the now former champ his toughest test to date.
Recently Cormier appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and while doing so, he had this to say about Mr. Gustafsson (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I respect him 110-percent,” Cormier said. “I think Alexander Gustafsson is phenomenal fighter. He’s every bit as good as me and Jones, so if anybody questions the top three guys in the division, I think it’s us three. 100-percent. Because that kid laid it on the line with both of us.
“If you match me with a lot of the guys in the top-10, they won’t fight me like that, as I’ve shown. You’ve seen what Jones has done to the guys in the top-10. The common factor is Gustafsson, and both of us had five-round wars with him where it literally went down to the fifth round, with both guys who have held the belt last…”
Yup. Gustafsson may have officially lost the bout, but he certainly hasn’t lost any ground with fans and the UFC. Now it will be interesting to see who Gustafsson fights next, and whether he can work his way into another scrap with Cormier or Jones.
Cormier is expected to fight Jones in 2016, however, the UFC has yet to comment on if and when the bout might happen. Jones decisioned Cormier this past January.