UFC News: Thoughts on Daniel Cormier vs Alexander Gustafsson being in the Works

Alexander GustafssonLast Friday, at the UFC 166 weigh ins, UFC Heavyweight Daniel Cormier hit the scales at 224 lbs for his match with Roy Nelson. Cormier did the job against Nelson, winning his bout, but the big news was his weight. For the Mir fight prior to this, Cormier weighed in at about 235 lbs. The noticeable drop against a bigger opponent made it clear that Cormier intends to test the waters at Light Heavyweight. Now word is out that Cormier may face Alexander Gustafsson in a match early next year. Though the match has great in-ring potential and everyone wants to see Gustafsson fight again after his amazing performance against champion Jon ┬áJones, it is also a match that eliminates a lot of possibilities. Another consideration is this – I bet Jon Jones loves this match. Cormier vs Gustafsson is a match that features what could potentially be Jon Jones’ next two opponents. However, by matching them up, one of these guys will take a loss and be significantly further from a title shot than before. The Light Heavyweight division doesn’t have a ton of options. UFC seems to have forgotten about Gegard Mousassi and other than recycling opponents that Jones has dominated, do you really think Jim Manuwa is ready for some Jon Jones? Gustafsson is going to have trouble with Cormier. Jones was in the media stating that Cormier should have to prove himself at Light heavyweight before a title fight. For Cormier, this would do it. It would send a tremendous message to the entire division if he were to handle Gustafsson after the Swede gave the champion so much trouble. Cormier does have a weight cut of 18 more pounds to go (he has to make 206 for a non-title bout), and they will be tough. His kidney’s shut down due to a weight cut to 208 pounds at the Olympic games when he was wrestling. Being in his mid-30s and testing his body’s recovery process means Father Time can show up in various different ways. If Cormier overcomes these potential obstacles and shows up explosive at 206 lbs however, he will be extremely dangerous. Cormier will not want to remain at a distance with Gustafsson, where the Swede is dangerous with both kicks and punches. He is going to look to get this match chest-to-chest as soon as possible, and that takes away a lot of Gustafsson’s stand-up offense. Gustafsson has been lauded for his takedown defense against Jones, and he should get credit. But of the 10 take downs he defended, how many were earnest, driving forward, keep pushing, don’t stop til he is on his back takedown attempts? Perhaps two or three were. Cormier has the wrestling chops and the body type to be able to get inside on Gustafsson and get him down. It would be a formidable message to simply be able to say to Jones – ‘you couldn’t get him down? I got him down all day….’ I don’t know where the books will open a line for this one, as Gustafsson is at the peak of his popularity right now, but I do know that barring any unforeseen circumstances, it is Cormier’s match to lose.

Written by Miguel

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