Alexander Gustafsson has issued a warning to Luke Rockhold.
The former UFC light heavyweight title challenger — and current No. 1 contender — challenged the former middleweight champion to a fight in an Instagram post Tuesday.
In Gustafsson’s ideal world, the Swede would be facing 205-pound champ Daniel Cormier in a rematch next, but “DC” is booked to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 226 in July. The next best option, Gustafsson wrote, is welcoming Rockhold, a teammate of Cormier, to the division.
“Luke Rockhold, your teammate is holding MY division hostage, and you think there are only easy fights at light heavyweight,” Gustafsson wrote in the post. “If you think (Yoel) Romero hits hard, then wait till you come to the big boys. I want Daniel Cormier, and knocking you out will keep me warm in the meantime.
“Beware of coming up in weight, because I will be standing at the front door waiting.”
Rockhold lost to Romero in an interim title fight at UFC 221 last weekend in Perth, Australia. Romero knocked him out in the third round with two vicious, left-hand shots — but couldn’t claim the interim belt, because he missed weight ahead of the contest.
Ahead of his second knockout loss in three fights, Rockhold expressed interest in a move up to the light heavyweight division, now that teammate Cormier has departed it — at least for the time being.
Rockhold has not publicly discussed a potential weight-class change since the Romero loss, but it seems all the more likely to happen with Rockhold out of the title picture at 185 pounds.
Gustafsson has been sidelined since last May — when he stopped Glover Teixeira in the fifth round — due to a shoulder injury that required surgery in November. An exact timetable for his return is unknown at this time.
@lukerockhold , your teammate is holding MY Division hostage, and you think there are only easy fights at LHW. If u think Romero hits hard, then wait till you come to the big boys. I want @dc_mma , and knocking u out will keep me warm in the meantime. Beware of coming up in weight because I will be standing at the front door waiting.