Riding a nice knockout win over Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson expected to get the next crack at UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Regrettably for him, Cormier is headed back up to the heavyweight division, where his career began, to battle reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Speaking on The JRE MMA Show this week, Gustafsson explained his frustration with Cormier’s temporary departure from the division. He feels the absentee champion has put the division he rules in limbo.
“It does [put the division in limbo],” Gustafsson said (transcribed by MMAFighting). “I didn’t see that superfight coming at all. It’s a great fight for them and for the fans and for the sport but for us standing in line, we’re just sitting there waiting for an opportunity and it’s not gonna come, it’s not gonna be there.”
“I had my eyes on that gold,” Gustafsson added. “I actually counted on fighting DC but then it was all gone by him going up to Stipe. It’s a crazy situation. The whole division is crazy right now. We don’t even know if he comes back. Who knows what happens in that fight. DC’s a really good heavyweight so who knows what happens.”
For Gustafsson, however, there is one potential challenge at light heavyweight that’s even bigger than a title fight with Cormier: a rematch with troubled former champion Jon Jones, who he lost a razor-close decision to in 2013. In Gustafsson’s eyes, Jones remains the greatest fighter of all time, regardless of his recent failed drug tests.
“I’m telling you, that guy is such a beast,” Gustafsson said of Jones. “It’s so stupid because he’s the best guy, pound-for-pound, out there. He’s done things nobody else has done. He’s just a beast and still, shit just comes up all the time. He doesn’t even need that steroid. He doesn’t need that shit in him. He’s still the best guy out there.”
“Fighting him and beating him, that’s bigger than taking the belt right now, that’s how I feel,” he continued. “Look at what he did to DC. And DC is tough. He finished DC. That’s just insane.”
Do you think Alexander Gustafsson will ever get his desired rematches with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/17/2018.