If you’ve been hoping the last couple of years to see Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier throw hands one more time, well, the light-heavyweight and heavyweight champ’s announced the two will not fight again.
Now, yes, Cormier – Gustafsson II has already been looking somewhat unlikely in recent weeks. Since Cormier is planning to retire next March, has said that Gustafsson needs to do something special in his next bout, and because “DC” is fighting Brock Lesnar in 2019, the chances of a Gustafsson rematch weren’t great.
But, recently Gustafsson’s manager announced that the Swedish star is also ineligible for UFC 227, due to injury. That news came after it was confirmed Volkan Oezdemir was out of their scheduled bout, and following Anthony Smith’s call out of Gustafsson yesterday.
Well, the news of Gustafsson’s withdrawal prompted Cormier to post the following comments about his former foe:
Dear Alex, I don’t know what happened to you going back to the Rockhold situation. You have always been a stand up guy but your behavior changed. From calling a guy out the day after he got knocked out, to now offering to fight me knowing I have a broken hand, after Volkan couldn’t go. Now you’ve turned down Jan, turned down Khalil all while calling for a heavyweight title fight. Now, moments after Anthony Smith does his work like an animal you decide you’re hurt. Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015, but you and I won’t share the octagon again. I am disappointed in who you’ve become. You are so entitled, man, I can’t deal with delusional people. Good luck recovering. Our time has passed. See you from the commentary table. DC @alexthemauler #wegoourseparateways
Those criticisms prompted Gustafsson’s management to release this follow-up statement (via MMA Fighting):
Doctors pulled Alex from the card last Friday. Days before Anthony was to compete. Before that we were trying to stay on the card. Assuming we could get cleared, we were prepared to face anyone. We assumed it would be Rountree as he was ready fight, and we were told Jan would fight at another time. We also offered to fight DC at heavyweight if he was healthy. So Alex was prepared to face anyone, ranked or unranked. But the doctor’s said he was unfit to compete.
It was determined last Friday he would not be on the card. Days before the Smith contest.
So, it will be interesting to see what the general reaction is to Gustafsson. Was he acting “entitled”? On one hand, it’s certainly true that “The Mauler” hasn’t fought much in the last couple of years due to injuries. But, Gustafsson did battle Cormier to a split decision, and many still believe he provided Jon Jones his stiffest test to date in 2013 (Jones won the thrilling fight via UD).
All this aside, now you really have to wonder if Cormier will defend the 205 belt again.