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Alexander Gustafsson to Daniel Cormier: ‘Fight me or let the belt go’

Alexander Gustafsson wants to get past Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 227, then get his hands on UFC light heavyweight gold.

Top UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson may already have an important fight lined up against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 227, but that hasn’t stopped the Swede from giving his thoughts on Daniel Cormier’s future at 205 pounds following his heavyweight title win at UFC 226 last Saturday.

Gustafsson (18-4), a two-time title challenger at 205 pounds, hasn’t fought in over a year due to being sidelined with a shoulder injury. The 31-year-old’s last UFC outing was an impressive fifth-round TKO victory over Glover Teixeira in May 2017.

Speaking to MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour, Gustafsson gave his take on the rumored matchup between Cormier and WWE star Brock Lesnar, as well as his plans for eventually securing light heavyweight gold.

“I respect that [Cormier vs. Lesnar] is a big fight and a money fight,” Gustafsson said. “But the way that he says I have to do something spectacular…I think it’s a bad thing for him to say because I’m ranked No. 1 and I’ve fought everyone in the division.

“It’s not up to him to decide something like that. I don’t know what he means by that. I’ve been fighting everybody and waiting for an opportunity like everyone else to fight for the belt.”

Gustafsson first fought Cormier back in October 2015 at UFC 192, when “The Mauler” lost a razor close split decision to ‘DC.’ Given that Cormier is now the heavyweight champion, and with his future at 205 pounds remaining uncertain, Gustafsson suggested he and Oezdemir should fight for the interim light heavyweight title at UFC 227.

“They should do this fight for an interim title. Whenever DC makes up his mind…if he wants to come down we can fight for the real title. They should make this fight for the interim title, me and Volkan — that’s the No. 1 guy and the No 2 guy.

“It’s all up to him. He can’t sit on his throne and decide who he fights or who he’s not going to fight, if he does that he should just let it go because I want that belt, that’s all I’m focused on after the Volkan fight. He can either fight me or let the belt go, that’s the only thing I’ll say.”