Now that Daniel Cormier has captured division titles in two separate weight classes, heavyweight and light heavyweight, the new champ-champ must decide which one gets defended and which one gets put on ice.
Judging by what happened at UFC 226 and the circus that followed it, I think we’re all in agreement that “DC” is gearing up for a 265-pound title defense against pro wrestling import Brock Lesnar at some point later this year.
Which means the winner of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Volkan Oezdemir, who collide at the upcoming UFC 227 pay-per-view (PPV) event next month in Los Angeles, Calif., will be left out in the cold.
Unless the promotion decides to shine things up a bit at 205 pounds.
“They should do this fight for the interim title, it’s the No. 1 guy vs. the No. 2 guy,” Gustafsson told The MMA Hour. “If ‘DC’ makes up his mind and wants to come down, we can fight for the real title. He better let that belt go, he can’t sit on his throne and decide who’s fighting and who’s not. When I beat Volkan I’ll be the number one guy and the next fight is for the belt, that's it.”
Assuming Oezdemir is able to keep his commitment.
Cormier was able to squeak past Gustafsson by way of five-round split decision at the UFC 192 event in late 2015 (recap here). Since that narrow defeat, “The Mauler” has racked up consecutive wins over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.
The promotion has made no indication that Gustafsson’s upcoming showdown will be for the substitute strap; however, there is still plenty of time to make that happen if Cormier-Lesnar becomes official and even it it doesn’t, it’s not like UFC has ever been shy about handing down belts.