The war of words between top contender Alexander Gustafsson and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier continues on.
The UFC light heavyweight champion will fight UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. They will also coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Although DC wanted this bout, there were many fans who were also arguing that number one-ranked light heavyweight contender Gustafsson is the more deserving challenger.
If you recall, the two fighters already faced each other at UFC 192 in 2015, where Cormier won via split decision.
Gustafsson has won back-to-back fights since losing a close split decision to Cormier at UFC 192. In those fights, he scored a unanimous decision victory over Jan Blachowicz and knocking out Glover Teixeira.
Thus, these wins made some fight fans believe he should be next in line.
Gustafsson admitted Monday on The MMA Hour to being “shocked” by how this whole situation has played out thus far.
“I’ve been a little bit frustrated,” Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour, “because I was counting on the DC fight. Me and him fighting for the belt again, that was my plan. That was my plan basically, and it didn’t end up like that, so it’s been a little bit frustrating. I’ve been injured for awhile too. I got injured not long after the fight I had against Glover [Teixeira], so I’m really motivated. I’ve been out for awhile and I’m just tired of being out such a long period of time. I just want to be active and I feel the fire and I feel the motivation.
“And now when [Cormier] goes up a weight class, we’re just sitting there on the sideline watching everything happen. So I’m a little bit frustrated, a little bit disappointed. I don’t know what to say to that just more than, I’m not the one disappearing here,” Gustafsson said. “He knows I’m here and he knows I’m waiting for him. It feels like he’s just playing it safe, and he has everything to gain in that [UFC 226] fight and nothing to lose.”
“As it comes to now and my positioning now, I’m just feeling that it doesn’t matter what happens, I’m just here to take that belt. That’s what my focus is and my purpose is right now. And of course I’m happy for the guys. They’re winning and we have a really strong team, and that’s something that means a lot to me. But I have my goal. I have my eyes and my focus on that belt right now.”