Alexander Gustafsson ‘Willing To Chase’ Cormier Up To Heavyweight For A Rematch
Alexander Gustafsson has had a frustrating start to the year but he will be looking to turn it all around starting at UFC 227.
The Swede hasn’t fought since defeating Glover Teixeira back in May 2017 after a slew of injuries and matchmaking difficulties saw him sit on the sidelines. Thankfully, Gustafsson now has a fight booked and on Aug. 4 he will return to the UFC Octagon to face Swiss fighter, Volkan Oezdemir.
Speaking exclusively to MMANytt.com this week, Gustafsson explained how the fight came about.
“We have tried to get fights,” Gustafsson said. Luke got injured, Yoel injured. We were talking about OSP (Ovince Saint-Preux), but he’s getting married I think. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth and we never could find an opponent.
“Finally the UFC figured out the Volkan fight. As I said earlier I’m really grateful and motivated – it couldn’t have turned out better than this. Of course I could have fought ‘DC’ but he’s not available. So it’s Volkan now and I am looking forward to it – it will be fun.”
Eyes on Cormier
Make no mistake about it, Gustafsson has his eyes set on getting a rematch with the current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Gustafsson said he fully intends to get another crack at Cormier, but that he’s well aware he must deal with Oezdemir firs in Los Angeles.
“Of course it’s frustrating – because he has something I want. At the same time he moves up to heavyweight while keeping the belt. But at the same time – the hunt isn’t over. I have Volkan in my sights and I’m gonna defeat him.
“After that we will have to sit down and see what the next step is, I might continue chasing him. If I need to move up to heavyweight to face him – I will. Let’s see what happens.”
All respect for the champion
Gustafsson is clearly angered and frustrated with Cormier’s lack of willingness to fight him, but that doesn’t mean he’s lost respect for the champion.
“‘DC’ is smart. I like DC, he is a big inspiration for me. 39 years old and takes two belts. I cant really trash the guy and I cant really have a beef with him.
“I think he’s great in every way. It just sucks that he has my belt. Let’s see how we solve it.”
Moving up to heavyweight
Moving up to heavyweight to fight Cormier appears to be an idea that Gustafsson wouldn’t dismiss. Gustafsson feels that with Cormier’s limited time left in the sport that him moving back down to 205-pounds isn’t realistic and that he might have to chase him up to a new weight class.
“It’s funny, it’s clear he doesn’t want to face me,” Gustafsson said. “First of all he is never coming back down to 205, he is struggling to stay at heavyweight. DC is a big boy, as tall as he is wide. I don’t think he will go down again, he loves food and to eat.
“To sacrifice so much with dieting, food and then going down to face me – I think I will have to move to heavyweight to get a piece of Cormier again.”
Watch the full interview with Gustafsson: