Daniel Cormier has downplayed the possibility of a potential rematch.
The UFC light heavyweight champion has had a wildlife over the last few months. Jon Jones defeated Cormier by third-round TKO in the main event of UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, California to regain the title.
The event aired on PPV (pay-per-view). The UFC gave the title back to Cormier as a result of Jones’ failed drug test. In a recent tweet he sent out, Cormier noted that the verdict went to rising 205-pound star Volkan Oezdemir.
There were many fans that thought that Oezdemir would get a title shot over former title contender Alexander Gustafsson in the voting department due to the fact that Gustafsson is widely considered the best light heavyweight fighter in the world outside of Cormier and Jones.
Cormier recently spoke (transcript courtesy of MMA Mania) about his decision to put his next title defense to a vote among fight fans on his podcast.
During the show, he took jabs at Gustafsson and his ability, or lack thereof, to bring in major pay-per-view (PPV) numbers. In this day and age, that is a key factor in booking fights.
If you recall, Cormier and Gustafsson went to battle in the world-famous Octagon back at UFC 192 with “DC” coming out on top in a competitive split decision. Since then and after a few big wins, fight fans want to see Gustafsson take another crack at the UFC champion. However, Cormier isn’t convinced the rematch would do great numbers.
“It was me [who decided to do the voting polls]. I was like man, let’s see where the interest is,” Cormier said during a recent edition of his Talk and Talker podcast. “Look, there are a lot of people that want to see me fight Alexander Gustafsson. And I would fight Alexander again. Y’know, he’s a tough guy.
Another guy who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. But it’s a fight we’ve seen before. Truth of the matter is, that fight with Alex in all the fights that I’ve done — the two [Jon] Jones’ fights that have done tremendous at the box office, the pay-per-views. The Anderson Silva fight obviously at UFC 200 did amazing pay-per-views. The two Rumble [Johnson] fights did really well pay-per-view wise. The only fight that I’ve truly, truly, struggled with was Gustafsson.”
“We did no business,” Cormier explained. “So, revisiting that [Gustafsson] fight right now would be something that would push me competitively because he is who he is but — I keep getting stuff like, ‘I want to fight Volkan [Oezdemir] because it’s easier, but Gustafsson is the money fight.’
Well, the reality is Gustafsson really isn’t the money fight. Even when he fought Jon, the pay-per-views did very bad. He just has this cult following. When they did the EA Sports vote, he got put on the cover of the video game, but then it doesn’t equate to pay-per-view buys. Which sucks. Because if it did, I’d be like, ‘Hey, put Gustafsson up there right now.’”