When UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier opted to move up to heavyweight to challenge Stipe Miocic for gold, he deprived light heavyweight number-one contender Alexander Gustafsson of the title shot most feel he’s earned. When Cormier defeated Miocic and set his sights on a heavyweight money fight with Brock Lesnar, he ensured that Gustafsson will have to go even longer before he gets a crack at the light heavyweight title.
It probably goes without saying, but Gustafsson is not happy about this. Although he’s currently scheduled for a UFC 227 fight with Volkan Oezdemir, Gustafsson feels that, if Cormier plans on staying at heavyweight for some time, he should vacate the light heavyweight title. At the very least, he thinks his UFC 227 clash with Oezdemir should be deemed an interim title fight.
Gustafsson discussed the situation on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“He’s up there now; he has the heavyweight belt and he has the light heavyweight belt,” Gustafsson said (transcribed by Peter Carroll for MMA Fighting). “He’s keeping the light heavyweight belt for himself, he doesn’t want to let it go. I don’t know what’s going on; he has to make up his mind and decide if he wants to come back down. I’m just going to beat Volkan and then I’m ready for him. Maybe he should just let that belt go and give it to us so we have something to fight for.”
“They should do this fight for an interim title,” he continued. “Whenever DC makes up his mind…if he wants to come down we can fight for the real title. They should make this fight for the interim title, me and Volkan — that’s the No. 1 guy and the No 2 guy.”
“It’s all up to [Cormier]. He can’t sit on his throne and decide who he fights or who he’s not going to fight, if he does that he should just let it go because I want that belt, that’s all I’m focused on after the Volkan fight. He can either fight me or let the belt go, that’s the only thing I’ll say.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/9/2018.