Iron sharpens iron and it goes to show with a couple of the top UFC light heavyweight contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa.
The two training partners are ranked at the top of the UFC 205-pound division with Gustafsson at #1 and Manuwa at #2. With Gustafsson coming off a KO over Glover Teixeira and Manuwa set to fight Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214 on July 29, a title shot is within reach for both teammates.
“Well, I haven’t spoken to Dana [White] yet, so let’s see what happens,” Gustafsson said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour (transcribed by Chuck Mindenhall for MMA Fighting). “If Jimi gets it, I’m happy for him. So let’s see what happens.”
Gustafsson said that he and Manuwa have grown to be very close and compete against one another in training and practice. However, we won’t see the two meet in the UFC Octagon even if the belt is dangling in front of them.
“I’d probably have to fight another guy, we’re not fighting each other,” Gustafsson said. “We’re brothers now, and we’re training hard together. So that’s how we look at things. I’m just happy if he gets the fight, and we’ll take it from there.”
Regarding the upcoming light heavyweight title fight between champion Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones who Gustafsson had close fights against, “The Mauler” is rooting for Cormier but will gladly accept a rematch with either of them.
“I’m excited to see the fight first of all, and I have to be honest, I like DC,” he said. “For me, he’s a worthy champion, he’s a good guy. I hope he wins, but I wouldn’t say no to a fight against Jon Jones either. That’s the fight people want to see, and I will fight him. So, let’s see what happens.”
Who do you think will get the next shot at the winner of Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones? Let’s hear it in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/12/2017.