Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa are currently ranked #1 and #2 in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division respectively, so one would think their paths might cross correct? Well, recently Gustasfsson was asked to weigh-in on whether he’d be willing to fight his teammate and friend again.
Gustafsson is coming off an impressive, stoppage win over fellow contender Glover Teixeira last month, and as a result, he’s knocking on the title shot door. Manuwa, meanwhile, is booked to fight Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214, July 29th, and the heavy-handed fighter says he’s been told by Dana White that if he wins, he’ll lock up a title shot.
So, when you have two fighters at the top of the ranks, and in title contention, they’re going to field questions about the possibility of fighting. Especially if they’re teammates, like Gustafsson and Manuwa.
Well, on the latest “MMA Hour”, Gustafsson had this to say, while discussing this very topic (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Well, I haven’t spoken to Dana [White] yet, so let’s see what happens,” Gustafsson said, while talking about the possibility of Manuwa getting a title shot before him. “If Jimi gets it, I’m happy for him. So let’s see what happens.”
“I’d probably have to fight another guy, we’re not fighting each other. We’re brothers now, and we’re training hard together. So that’s how we look at things. I’m just happy if he gets the fight, and we’ll take it from there.”
There you have it, although, you have to wonder what might happen, if say Gustafsson or Manuwa was the champ, and the UFC wanted to book them to fight. It should be noted that they fought back in 2014, before they trained together, and Gustafsson stopped Manuwa in round two.
Of course, a lot has to fall into place before that’s even a possibility. Current champ, Daniel Cormier, is booked to fight former champ Jon Jones at UFC 214 as well.