As if Daniel Cormier winning the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 226 wasn’t shocking enough, it now apparently has created a new spark in Cormier’s other weight class at light heavyweight.
It was recently reported that DC had personally expressed and interest in wanting Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to be his next challenger for his light heavyweight title.
In hearing this statement, this caused a riff with some of the up and coming prospects/contenders in the division, one of them being Anthony Smith who was already preparing to face Shogun at UFC Hamburg, and as a result of the event last night, scored a KO victory over him.
Another one of those contenders who’d been wanting to face DC was longtime top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson, who has publicly stated his willingness to move up to heavyweight to face the reigning double UFC champion in an attempt to avenge a loss suffered from Cormier in 2015.
Last week reports revealed Gustafsson was scheduled to face red hot prospect Khalil Rountree next month at UFC 227, but disaster struck once again for the Swedish striker as he has sustained yet another injury and will have to withdraw from the bout.
The timing and the news of Gustafsson’s injury came at a very coincedental time as it was reported literally after Anthony Smith’s upset knockout of Shogun Rua, where Smith proceeded to call “The Mauler” out.
Shortly after getting word of the report about his rival’s injury, Cormier took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts and went into a harsh rant about the Swede’s change of attitude, being entitled, and delusional for his repetitive verbal challenges for title shots.
“I will always be grateful for October 2015 (when we fought at UFC 192), but you and I won’t share the Octagon again,” Cormier wrote.
Upon seeing the Cormier social media post to Alexander Gustafsson, his management team released a statement late Sunday evening concerning his injury and him having to be pulled from UFC 227.
Doctors pulled Alex from the card last Friday. Days before Anthony was to compete. Before that we were trying to stay on the card. Assuming we could get cleared, we were prepared to face anyone. We assumed it would be Rountree as he was ready fight, and we were told Jan would fight at another time. We also offered to fight DC at heavyweight if he was healthy. So Alex was prepared to face anyone, ranked or unranked. But the doctor’s said he was unfit to compete.
It was determined last Friday he would not be on the card. Days before the Smith contest.