Daniel Cormier recently said Alexander Gustafsson is his “golden ticket” for a rematch with light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, and while that may be true, it looks like “DC” won’t be facing “The Mauler” next.
Since Cormier was decisioned by Jones at UFC 182 last month, and Gustafsson was taken out by Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 14, there’s been a ton of talk as to whether Gustafsson-Cormier could materialize. After all, Gustafsson is currently ranked #2 in the light-heavyweight division, and Cormier is sitting at #3, so that fight makes sense right?
Well, Dana White was asked about the proposed, all-star fight this past weekend, and here is what he had to say (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“Cormier’s got another fight set up right now, and we actually have another fight for Gustafsson too,” White said. “After those two fight these fights, it’d make sense.”
Interesting huh? If you survey the 205 division, there’s several other top contenders who aren’t currently booked for bouts. The #5 ranked Ryan Bader, who is coming off a split decision win over Phil Davis, is currently without a fight. Rashad Evans, who is sitting at #4, is also opponent-less, after Glover Teixeira was forced to withdraw from their February 22nd bout due to injury.
So, one could conclude the UFC is looking to take a little time and build up any rematch that involves Gustafsson or Cormier facing Jones. After all, if Gustafsson were to go out and defeat Cormier in a couple of months, just for example, then what? Would fans want to see the winner of Jones-Johnson face “Gus” already? Considering his quick loss to the latter?
Or, would the UFC be able to effectively hype Jones-Cormier II later this year? If that’s how things played out?
White didn’t offer any information as to who Cormier or Gustafsson will fight next, but hopefully we find out soon. Jones-Johnson, meanwhile, is expected to take place in May.