Alexander Gustafsson’s claim to the next UFC light heavyweight title shot is pretty much undeniable. Unfortunately for the towering Swede, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is in the midst of a sojourn up to the heavyweight division, where he will challenge Stipe Miocic for gold at UFC 226. In other words, there’s currently no light heavyweight champion available for Gustafsson to fight.
From the sounds of it, the UFC is now hoping Gustafsson will take another fight before he contends for the light heavyweight title. Though the Swedish contender has stated he plans to be ready to step in and replace Cormier or Miocic in the event of an injury, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto is reporting that the UFC hopes to have Gustafsson fight at UFC 227 on August 4 in Los Angeles.
Per sources, UFC still has interest in Alexander Gustafsson on UFC 227 in Los Angeles on Aug. 4. That card is sitting at 10 official fights. Gustafsson is open to it, but wants something that makes sense. Latest discussions have involved Ovince St. Preux, who won last weekend.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) June 26, 2018
While an opponent for Gustafsson’s possible Octagon return has not yet been locked down, the UFC is apparently considering Ovince Saint Preux, who recently won big with a first-round submission of Tyson Pedro. Whatever the case, it’s hard to imagine Gustafsson getting excited about another non-title fight…
It’s worth noting, of course, that Cormier recently suggested he only wants to fight twice more after his fight with Miocic. He’s got two opponents in mind for his final two bouts, and neither of them are Gustafsson. Instead, he wants to fight Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar, which means Gustafsson might have to keep slogging away at light heavyweight until Cormier vacates the title.
Gustafsson, meanwhile, has suggested that he’d be down for an interim light heavyweight title fight with former middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero.
Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
At present, Alexander Gustafsson is on a two-fight win-streak, having recently bested Jan Blachowicz by decision, and Glover Teixeira by knockout. He’s 18-4 overall, with his only losses coming against Phil Davis, Jon Jones, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Daniel Cormier.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/27/2018.