Dana White has announced that Alexander Gustafsson will get the first shot at new light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s title, though at this stage a date and venue have not been established.
Gustafsson is the current No.2 contender in the division, but ‘The Mauler’ is coming off a swift first round TKO loss at the hands of Anthony Johnson back in January in his native Sweden.
In fact, Gustafsson only has one win in his last three fights – a TKO victory over Jimi Manuwa. Of course his other loss during that period was an instant-classic encounter with the champion at the time, Jon Jones which some people believed he did enough to win on the scorecards.
Ryan Bader is likely to be angered by the news that he’s been overlooked as he’s been vocal about his desire to get the next shot at Cormier and the two had even had a minor feud during the UFC 187 post-fight press conference which seemed to add fuel to the fire that he’d be next in line.
Bader is ranked just one spot behind Gustafsson at No.3 on the 205lb rankings and is on a four-fight winning streak that culminated with a split decision victory over Phil Davis in January.
Apparently that wasn’t deemed to be enough by the UFC to grant him the title opportunity though and it seems they’ve opted to go with what’s likely to be a more marketable match-up instead since Bader’s never been known as a draw for the company.