A former title contender is going to be on the sidelines.
The UFC light heavyweight title picture just got even a little more complicated. Two-time UFC light heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson is going to have to wait to get his rematch with current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Now that “DC” has been reinstated as champion, Cormier had no concrete plans about whom he intends to face next.
This led to him taking it to the people and let fans decide via social media. In a recent tweet he sent out, Cormier noted that the verdict went to rising 205-pound star Volkan Oezdemir.
No date nor a location has been formally announced by the UFC for this bout. It appears that the champion’s mind has been made up as to whom he will fight next, and Oezdemir appears to be up for the challenge.
Although DC wanted this bout, there were many fans who were also arguing that 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.
Cormier went on record recently by stating on his podcast that 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.
However, with Oezdemir facing criminal charges after being involved in a bar fight, the promotion may have wanted to go back to DC vs. Gustafsson.
Gustafsson recently had a significant shoulder surgery that was a success, to hear him tell it. He took to Instagram to let his fans know that the surgery was complete and that he was feeling great:
“UPDATE! Op done ✅ Got my shoulder fixed, feel great, been 3 month with a plate keeping my collarbone in place! Now rehab and slowly getting back in 100% training! Can’t wait to get back to the octagon.”
”The Mauler” lost a close decision to champion Daniel Cormier, and with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson retired, Oezdemir’s legal troubles and Jon Jones’ second failed drug test, Gustafsson is one of the only viable options.
However, with the surgery was just done it will likely take multiple months before he’s booked for another fight.