As Daniel Cormier heads up to heavyweight in one of the blast few big fights before he walks away from the sport, he’s not the only one changing weight classes. His teammate Luke Rockhold has announced his move to light heavyweight is ‘imminent’ and Alexander Gustafsson has offered to welcome him to the new division. Although, with a logjam of top Swedish talent at the top, it may be Gustafsson who leaves his division soon as well.
“It’s a bit of a tricky situation. [Illir Latifi and Jimi Manuwa] are teammates, we are friends — close friends — first and foremost and we won’t fight each other. I want to start our discussion by making it clear that we will not fight each other, so now you all know. It’s a tricky situation, for sure. But I mean, we’ll see what happens. [Daniel Cormier] is now going up to face Stipe [Miocic], Ilir Latifi has heavyweight as a possibility. We’ll sort it out somehow. Of course we both should be able to dream of the belt and we both should get our chances to fight for the title, but we’ll see how it all turns out when we get there.”
Ilir Latifi 🏆🏆🏆
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) September 10, 2017
“We’ll see. I can move up to heavyweight, in the light heavyweight division we have Jon Jones coming back, [Daniel Cormier] who maybe is coming back or maybe not. We’ll see how it all plays out vbt me and Ilir [Latifi] will not compete against each other and the same goes for Jimi [Manuwa]. We’ll simply have to sit down and talk. How are we going to solve this in the best possible way? Time will tell — but trust me, we’ll sort it out. Heavyweight is also an option. I’m a heavyweight today. I’m actually only a light heavyweight during one day and that’s the weigh-in, after that I’m a good heavyweight.” — Alexander Gustafsson speaking to Viaplay via MMA NYTT.
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) July 20, 2017
Illir Latifi blasted up three spots to top five after his submission win over OSP last weekend, while Jimi Manuwa sits just above him in the fourth spot. Both are closing in on Alexander Gustafsson who still rests in the number one contender position. If it ever comes down to fighting one of his teammates, it looks like Gustafsson may just head up to heavyweight and try his luck there.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2018.