After taking only six minutes to finish off Jimi Manuwa on Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa, "The Mauler" reasserted himself as the number one contender to the light heavyweight championship. At the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Alexander Gustafsson would face the winner of the UFC 172 title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.
Jones had his own idea about who Gustafsson should face when he suggested a number one contender fight for him against Daniel Cormier. Cormier has been campaigning for a fight against Jones for a long time. Despite having only fought the unheralded Patrick Cummins at 205 lbs., it looks like White still has big plans for Cormier:
@FantasyMoneyMan u will see him against the winner of Jones/Glover vs Gus— Dana White (@danawhite) March 9, 2014
On the one hand, the historic war of words between Jones and Cormier combined with Daniel's success and pedigree make him an intriguing challenge for Jones in the future. On the other hand, Cormier has had only one fight at light heavyweight in his MMA career. Regardless of the circumstances that fight was against a completely unknown Patrick Cummins. It's hard to argue that he's ready for a title shot coming off that fight.
On top of that, waiting to be the next guy in line could keep Cormier out of competition for up to a year or more. He'd have to wait for Gustafsson's fight to come and go before even getting scheduled. That would mean waiting until the end of 2014 at the earliest and it doesn't look like Daniel's ready to warm the bench for that long:
With Cormier's intention to stay active clear, it looks unlikely that he'll wait as Dana suggested. Instead, he should fight the winner of Anthony Johnson and Phil Davis who will also compete at UFC 172 in April.