Cormier vs Gustafsson possible

Alexander Gustafsson
Daniel Cormier could be taking on 'The Mauler' in his LHW debut.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


The light heavyweight division will welcome a new contender now that Daniel Cormier has competed for the last time as a heavyweight in a winning effort over Roy Nelson at UFC 166.

Cormier was already in the process of dropping weight when he fought the former Ultimate Fighter winner, coming in at a slim and trim 224 pounds while making the move down to 205.

UFC president Dana White was impressed with what he saw from Cormier, but there's no telling if that success will translate to the light heavyweight division, which has traditionally been one of the promotion's deepest and toughest weight classes.

"I thought he looked million percent better than the fight he had with Frank Mir," White told FOX Sports. "He out wrestled him, he beat him standing up, he was kicking more than Roy. Roy was just standing there getting lit up. At 205, I don't how he's going to fit in the 205 (division).

"The 205 pound division has been one of the, if not the nastiest divisions in the UFC forever. Guys are faster, a lot of guys are taller in that division. It's not an easy division to cut down to."

One possible matchup that seems intriguing for Cormier's first foray into the division is a fight against Alexander Gustafsson, who is fresh off of a close decision defeat to Jon Jones in September.

Gustafsson is expected to have his next fight in early 2014 in either Sweden or London, England and with a win he will receive a rematch against Jones later in the year.

Cormier is also gunning for a shot at Jones and the light heavyweight title and there may not be a faster path to get there than going through Gustafsson.

"Maybe, yeah," White answered when asked about a possible Cormier vs. Gustafsson matchup.

If Gustafsson isn't the name that lands on Cormier's contract for his first fight at light heavyweight, another available option would be former NCAA champion wrestler Phil Davis, who is also sitting without a fight currently. Davis most recently defeated former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, and with Cormier being a former two-time Olympic wrestler it could be a very intriguing matchup in the light heavyweight division.

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