Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson - Photo by MMAnytt

Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson Argue Over Interim Title During Tense Interview

Daniel Cormier had to interview Alexander Gustafsson on Wednesday night and it's safe to say things got weird between the former opponents.

Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson are no strangers to one another.

Beyond their fight back in 2015 that ended with Cormier winning a split decision, Gustafsson has been very vocal about the reigning light heavyweight champion leaving the division for a super fight against heavyweight king Stipe Miocic in July.

Just recently, Gustafsson has been calling out Cormier’s teammate Luke Rockhold while also asking for the UFC to introduce an interim title in the champion’s absence from the division.

All of those subjects came up when Cormier sat down to interview Gustafsson on the latest addition of “UFC Tonight” and it’s safe to say things got awkward in a hurry.

“In an ideal world, who are you fighting and don’t say nothing about an interim title either. It doesn’t exist on your planet anymore,” Cormier barked at Gustafsson, who was seated just a few feet away from him.

“The thing is I just feel like you’re not there, D.C,” Gustafsson responded. “You’re not there, you’re not in the division. What’s up with that?”

The back and forth continued with Gustafsson insisting that he’s wanted a rematch with Cormier ever since their first fight ended and he’s anxiously awaiting that opportunity.

Cormier disagreed and fired back at Gustafsson in a somewhat playful manner while the intensity between the two fighters just continued to ratchet up.

“You don’t really wish you could fight me. Come on, Alex,” Cormier said. “You didn’t like that last time. You didn’t enjoy that. You could not have enjoy what I did to you in there. We can pretend but let’s not pretend.”

With former UFC title contender Kenny Florian acting as a barrier between Cormier and Gustafsson, the subject of an interim title continued to come up during the interview.

Gustafsson went as far as suggesting that perhaps he could face Rockhold with an interim title on the line later this year, which only further enraged Cormier as he just defended his belt at UFC 220 in January.

“I just fought in January, Alex. I just fought in January. How are you wanting an interim title?” Cormier said.

“DC, I don’t know if you’re coming back,” Gustafsson said in response.

The back and forth continued throughout the interview, although the tension seemed to dissipate during some lighter moments between the light heavyweight rivals.

Still, Cormier wasn’t giving Gustafsson an inch during those exchanges as he insisted that once he’s done with Miocic in July that he’ll be back to defend his light heavyweight title later this year.

Now it’s just a matter of wait and see with Gustafsson looking to fight again soon without any top contenders left for him to face.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.