Dana White On Alexander Gustafsson’s Next Fight: Jimi Manuwa Is Undefeated And Cormier Has Never Made 205


When news broke last night that Alexander Gustafsson will be facing off with Jimi Manuwa at the March 8 UFC in London, many MMA fans were quite surprised. After all, “Gus” was basically thought to have another 205-pound title shot wrapped up after his thrilling performance against champion Jon Jones at UFC 165, a fight that more than a few people thought he won.

If “The Mauler” wasn’t facing off with Jones, Daniel Cormier seemed like the next logical choice. Instead Gustafsson was booked to face “Little Nog,” who promptly pulled out of the fight, as he’s become known for.

Well then, why didn’t Cormier get the fight with “Gus?”

Well, “DC” is planning to cut down to 205-pounds to avoid facing his friend and training partner Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight crown. As an Olympic wrestler, Cormier’s struggles with weight cutting are well documented. He was even forced to withdraw from the 2008 Games due to kidney trouble.

And that’s something that Dana White isn’t comfortable with. Speaking at yesterday’s UFC Fight Night 31:”Fight For The Troops 3″ media conference call, White expressed his uncertainty with booking “DC” at light heavyweight right away:

“Cormier has never made it to 205 before. The fight is going to be over in London and Manuwa is undefeated. He’s undefeated and he’s a big, nasty striker and he’s a light heavyweight.”

Indeed Cormier is untested at light heavyweight, and he even recently said on “UFC Tonight” that he was willing to fight Gustafsson if he did not have to cut weight overseas. “The Mauler’s” next fight is in London, so Cormier was out. Heavy-hitting Manuwa stepped in for the biggest bout of his life.

Is Cormier’s extreme refusal to fight Velasquez causing a major shift in his career? He’s been effective at heavyweight despite not finishing a UFC bout as of yet. With his medical history, the cut may take too much of a toll on his body.

Also, stating that you’ll only cut weight in your home country is a bit of an outlandish demand. It may be difficult and even horrible, but one would think that you go where the big fights lie as a top-ranked member of UFC. Cormier has a ton of hype surrounding him. He’s a great fighter, and there are new rumors about his next move all the time.

But at some point, should he stop making it so difficult on himself and just take the best fight he can?

  • I hope DC can make that weight cut. I understand his reason to move down BUT I don't really like that idea. This is a Business and you fight whoever they match you up with. Friendship is important but your a fighter and that is just the nature of game.

  • I don't know why there's still all this talk about the "difficult" weight cut of DC…. When DC was cutting weight before he went to EXTREMES dropping ridiculous amounts of weight within a very short time in the most unhealthy way you can think of which lead to the kidney failure. If he drops down in a healthy way, there should be no problem whatsoever. I do agree with DC opting to have his first fight at LHW in the U.S. where he's more comfortable with making the drop for the first time in his MMA career.

  • Oh by all means since he's beat all these big names
    Ryan Jimmo
    Cyrille Diabate
    Kyle Kingsbury
    Antony Rea
    Nick Chapman
    Valentino Petrescu
    Reza Mahdavian
    Shaun Lomas
    Luke Blythe
    Ryan Robinson
    Jamie Hearn
    Chris Greig
    Dave Rintoul
    Tom King

    • How about Phil Davis against Manuwa, IDK, but to give him a top 3 guy? Jimo isnt even a gatekeeper or Cyril.