Recently Alexander Gustafsson relayed that he’s willing to wait to face the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir, and it looks like “The Mauler” believes he’ll be facing “DC”.
After Cormier was reinstated as the UFC’s light-heavyweight champ, the consensus was that he’d face Gustafsson next. The reason being that the Swedish star is ranked #1 in the 205 division, and the two had a memorable / competitive bout back in 2015. Cormier won the contest via split decision.
But, after Cormier polled his fans, and was informed most of them would rather see him fight Volkan Oezdemir next, the champ said he’s going to ask the UFC for that fight. Well, since then, Gustafsson has said in an interview that he’s just fine, waiting for the winner of that contest.
But, who does he think will win? If Cormier and Oezdemir do in fact fight? The longtime contender offered this take on the potential / likely bout (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Volkan does have a puncher’s chance,” Gustafsson said. “He’s not someone you want to underestimate. He’s a power puncher. But ‘DC’ is the better fighter.
“(Cormier) can take a punch. He has the cardio. He is a better mixed martial artist than Volkan. So I see ‘DC’ winning the fight.”
“He’s going to put him on his ass,” Gustafsson said. “He’ll take him down and dominate on the ground. Volkan is sort of like Anthony Johnson – a power puncher. We haven’t seen much of his ground game. And I think ‘DC’ will take him down.”
There’s no question that Oezdemir can crack, but, we haven’t really seen in the UFC yet, whether he can hang with top tier wrestlers like Cormier. As Gustafsson also noted, Cormier’s accustomed to facing hard hitting opponents, and defeating them. After all, he did defeat the aforementioned Johnson, not once, but twice.
Gustafsson also went on to say that he hopes “DC” wins, as he would like to get that loss back. But, the Swedish fighter also said that if Oezdemir takes the belt, he’d be happy to face the man who took out his teammate and buddy, Jimi Manuwa.
The 30 year-old Gustafsson hasn’t fought since May, when he KO’d Glover Teixeira. So, if he does end up sitting on the sidelines for the winner of Cormier – Oezdemir, he likely won’t compete again until mid 2018.