Alexander Gustafsson has made it crystal clear on what his next step is in the light-heavyweight division but it doesn’t look like his employer shares the same view.
Earlier this week “The Mauler” revealed that he will not take any other match before he receives his second shot at UFC gold. The revelation came after the Swede found out about Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier’s planned title bout being pushed back to UFC 182.
Well according to UFC president Dana White, in a recent interview with UFC.com, that’s not the way things are going to play out. Cormier stepped in for the injured Gustafsson when he pulled out of UFC 178 so that’s the fight which will happen next:
“Gustafsson is upset, but it’s not like we took Gustafsson out of the fight. Gustafsson got hurt and he’s out,” White said. “Cormier stepped in and accepted the fight and this is the fight that is going to happen now.
The reality is we had Gustafsson versus Jones, he was the number one contender, that was the fight. He got hurt,” White continued. “He fell out of the fight. Well, people can say, ‘Now Jones is hurt.’ Well yeah, but this is the fight that’s happening now.”
That’s probably not going to sit well with the former title challenger who missed out getting an immediate rematch with Jones following their battle at UFC 165 to make way for Glover Teixeira. The move came as a surprise to most with the majority of fans clamouring for a second meeting, hoping to replicate their first bout which won “Fight of the Year” for 2013.
Regardless, he has now lost his place as the No.1 contender and he won’t be fighting for the belt anytime soon. His last fight came in March as he stopped the previously undefeated Jimi Manuwa with a second round knockout, if he does stick to his guns and wait it will be at least 12 months since he had last fought.
With injuries being such a common thing in MMA is that really a wise thing to do?
“Gustafsson will probably fight again. We’ll probably do another fight for him,” White said. “He’ll probably fight again to stay active, stay top of mind and the guy has to make money.”
If he does decide to stay active the chances are that he will be matched up against Anthony Johnson who has quickly risen into contender status after just two fights in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. White also thinks the fight makes sense so the chances the UFC are going to push him that way.
So, if it did go down who’s your money on, Gustafsson or “Rumble”?