Anytime the UFC books a super-fight, such as the one between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, there are contenders who end up feeling slighted. That is the boat UFC light heavyweight, Alexander Gustafsson finds himself in these days. Gustafson believes an interim title should be declared for his division since Cormier will be fighting at heavyweight next.
“Me fighting D.C. [Cormier] for the real title, that opportunity went out the window,” Gustafsson told ESPN recently. “I feel I earned my spot off my last performance — but here we are. With D.C. moving up, the next step for me should be for an interim title. “I brought it up to the UFC. Let’s see what happens. All I know is that in my situation, whoever they put in front of me next, it must be for the interim title.”
Gustaffson dropped a split-decision to Cormier at UFC 192 and has since defeated Jan Blachowicz and Glover Texeira.
“D.C. is moving up to heavyweight and that’s good for him and it’s good for the organization, but for me, the No. 1 contender, it’s not fair. It’s not fair at all. And no one knows what D.C. will do after this fight. He may put his gloves down and walk away.” – Alexander Gustaffson.
Interim Light Heavyweight Championship
Cormier last defended his championship at UFC 220 against Volkan Oezdemir. His fight with Miocic is scheduled for UFC 226 on July 7th, 2018. Regardless of the result of that fight, Cormier will most likely be in a position to defend his light heavyweight championship again before the end of the year or early 2019.
In other words, Gustafsson’s case that there should be an interim title created at light heavyweight is hampered by the fact Cormier could still defend his title twice inside a calendar year. Though as Gustafsson points out, there is no guarantee that Cormier does not retire after the Miocic bout. Cormier has stated he does not plan on fighting past 40-years of age. His 40th birthday will be March 20th, 2020.
Gustafsson is on a crusade to win gold it seems. He’s looking to take the shortest path between where he is and where he wants to be.
“I feel like I’ve been taking fights and climbing ladders, climbing rankings, my entire career,” Gustafsson said. “I’m 31 years old. I still feel I’ll compete for many years, but right now, every fight has to have a thought behind it. It has to take me the right way. Every fight, you take damage. You take damage in your training camp. I just came back from an injury recently. I’ve got that fire in me, and I want to take a fight that will actually take me towards my goal.”