Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 13
Alex Gustafsson has launched a surprise—and out of character—attack on the UFC following the company's decision to reschedule Jon Jones' fight with Daniel Cormier.
An injury to Gustafsson initially saw Cormier stand in to fight Jones at UFC 178. However, an injury to Jones forced the light heavyweight title scrap to be moved to UFC 182.
Gustafsson, who stood at the front of the queue before his injury, is clearly angry that the recent press conference brawl between Jones and Cormier has seemingly propelled DC to No. 1 contender spot, prompting him to post on Instagram:
Apparently @ufc thinks that acting like clowns on a pressconference will hype a fight more than doing the fight of the century, thats ridiculous.
News that Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier has been moved back three months reached former light heavyweight top contender Alexander Gustafsson, and, boy, he is not happy about it.
Reaching out to fans through Facebook, The Mauler posted the following: "I just heard the news that Jones is injured and the fight is rescheduled to January 3???? Until then, I will be more than ready, it was MY fight to begin with and I WANT the fight as the number 1 contender. End of story!!"
For those who don't remember, Gustafsson was set to face Jones in a rematch of the 2013 Fight of the Year at UFC 178 but was forced to pull out of the bout with a knee injury. He was immediately replaced by Daniel Cormier, and the resulting war of words (and hands) between the champion and the former Olympian has made the bout one of the most anticipated fights in MMA today.
While Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 remains a tantalizing fight, the hype surrounding Jones vs. Cormier has seemingly trumped it.
Still, from a "fairness" perspective, the title shot should undeniably go to Gustafsson. The UFC reluctantly bowed to Jones' refusal for an immediate rematch for the Swede, who preferred a matchup with Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira. Gustafsson would wind up facing Jimi Manuwa in March, earning the win via second-round TKO.
Assuming Gustafsson is fully healed, the rematch should have been the go-to choice for the next light heavyweight title fight. Unfortunately, "fairness" carries little meaning in the UFC's title picture, where Nick Diaz received a title shot coming off a loss ahead of Johny Hendricks and Gina Carano was seemingly going to face Ronda Rousey after five years out of the sport.
Either way, fans can look forward to a matchup between Jones and Cormier in January at UFC 182. Stick with Bleacher Report for more news on Gustafsson as it becomes available.