The UFC is in an interesting spot with former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
The Las Vegas-based promotion could book Rockhold against former middleweight champion Michael Bisping for a third time or they could book him against former light heavyweight title contender Alexander Gustafsson.
To tell the backstory correctly, we have to look at the history between Gustafson and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who is teammates with Rockhold at AKA.
It’s been well documented that the UFC light heavyweight champion will fight UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. They will also coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
The UFC 226 pay-per-view event is set to take place on July 7, 2018 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.
Although DC wanted this bout, there were many fans who were also arguing that number one-ranked light heavyweight contender 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.
Gustafsson has won back-to-back fights since losing a close split decision to Cormier at UFC 192. In those fights, he scored a unanimous decision victory over Jan Blachowicz and knocking out Glover Teixeira. Thus, these wins made some fight fans believe he should be next in line.
Cormier has already stated that he has 14 months until he hangs up his gloves and ends his pro-MMA career. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to waste much time before getting back into the Octagon.
Cormier went on record by stating that Rockhold should fight middleweight champion Robert Whittaker next even though he just lost to Yoel Romero at UFC 221 last week.
As for the reason, it’s due to the fact that Gustafsson was knocked out by Anthony Johnson before challenging Cormier for the title in 2015.
It kicked off when Gustafson offered to “keep warm” by knocking out. Then Rockhold responded by saying in a recent interview that he’s “coming for that a**.”
Gusfaston has reacted once again to Rockhold by recently writing the following on his official Twitter account:
“@LukeRockhold . Heard u coming for me.. Can’t ask for more .chinny as middleweight. KO’d as a LHW. Fool yourself to believe its the weight cut. I’ll wait for u!!”