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Gustafsson predicts victory for “DC”, wants the next title shot

Alexander Gustafsson is backing his old adversary, Daniel Cormier, in his prospective bout with Volkan Oezdemir… But only because he wants a rematch.

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Alexander Gustafsson is widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the UFC’s current roster to never hold a championship belt – he believes that will change in the future.

“The Mauler” has fought for the belt once before against the current champion, Daniel “DC” Cormier. The Swede came up short in a contentious split-decision loss and now he is chomping at the bit to get a rematch against Cormier.

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Gustafsson, as translated by Viaplay Fighting. “Daniel knows I’m here to stay and that I’m waiting for my rematch against him.”

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Although nothing has been officially confirmed, Cormier has named up-and-coming knockout artist, Volkan Oezdemir, as his next opponent. “DC” was reinstated as the champion after Jon Jones tested positive for turinabol and was stripped of the belt. Now, Cormier wants to hit the ground running and defend his title against one of the hottest prospects in the division.

Gustafsson is a patient man, as he is content to wait for his opportunity to fight for the belt again.

“I’ll wait and take it from there. I’m not in a hurry. I’ve had longer stretches between fights than this. I’ll be fine […] We’ll see if DC and Volkan gets confirmed. Then I’ll fight the winner and…I’m pretty sure I’ll fight DC and get my rematch.”

Gustafsson seems fairly confident that “DC” will retain his championship and that they will run their epic match at UFC 192 back and put on a show for the fans.

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“Volkan does have a puncher’s chance. He has powerful hands as you can see here against Jimi (Manuwa) […] He’s not someone you want to underestimate. He’s a power puncher, but DC is the better fighter. He can take a punch. He has the cardio. He is a better mixed martial artist than Volkan. So, I see DC winning that fight.”

Volkan Oezdemir has called Gustafsson out on Twitter a number of times and while Gustafsson never responded to him, he would have no qualms with stepping into the Octagon with him if he were to beat Cormier.

“Styles make fights. I want to beat DC. I want to avenge my loss. Because of that, I want DC to win […] But if Volkan were to win, that’s fine with me. Then I’ll avenge Jimi.”

What do you guys think? Will Gustafsson get his title shot against Cormier, or against Oezdemir? Let us know what you have to say on Facebook and Twitter.

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Daniel Cormier has harsh words for Alexander Gustafsson

‘The Mauler’ Alexander Gustafsson was quick to call out Luke Rockhold following his knockout defeat last weekend – and Cormier had something to say about it.

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Prior to his knockout defeat in Perth last weekend, Luke Rockhold had expressed his desire to move up to the light heavyweight division. This certainly did not go unnoticed, and the first fighter of the 205lb division to call out Rockhold was none other than ‘The Mauler’ Alexander Gustafsson. Taking to Instagram, Gustafsson said the following.

@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.”

One could argue that it is too soon to be calling out a recently defeated fighter – and Rockhold’s former teammate Daniel Cormier certainly seems to think so.

Cormier and Gustafsson faced each other back at UFC 192 in October of 2015. Both fighters since then have had a degree of respect for each other, especially after the war they had 192. It would seem that despite Rockhold’s recent camp transition, DC’s loyalties still lie with his former teammate.

There’s no doubt that clash between Rockhold and Gustafsson would be a great spectacle and an interesting matchup, but was this callout too early from ‘The Mauler‘? We’d love to know your opinion in the comments below.

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Is it time for Luke Rockold to move up to light heavyweight

After tough weight cuts and knockout losses alike, it seems the former middleweight champion’s future lies at 205

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Luke Rockhold just suffered another brutal KO loss at the hands of Yoel Romero on Saturday night. Rockhold did well early in the fight, doing serious damage to Romero in the form of leg kicks which ultimately left Romero unable to stand at the end of the fight. However, it was Romero’s explosive speed and power that left the former champion unconscious in front of the Perth crowd in the third round.

This has left Rockhold in a very difficult position, especially being that he would have gained an interim title should he have achieved victory over Romero at UFC 221. It is certain then that Rockhold won’t be the middleweight title picture for the foreseeable future.

In the eyes of many, the next logical decision for Rockhold would be to try his hand at light heavyweight – especially being that his close friend and Teammate Daniel Cormier has just booked a fight against heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Rockhold has said himself that he the move is imminent, stating in an interview with submissionradio.com  that “DC is moving up to heavyweight. He’s not coming back, so I’ll be up there soon”.

The move for Rockhold would certainly make for easier weight cuts which could seem him perform far better in the octagon, and would also create a multitude of fresh new matchups that the division could certainly use. A clash between Rockhold and #1 contender Alexander Gustafsson is just one example of the electric matchups that could be made.

Rockhold’s chin has been very suspect at this weight, and it is well known that fighters who are dehydrated are far more prone to knockouts that fighters who are fighting at a natural and healthy weight. Many other fighters have found great success in moving up in weight, Antony ‘Rumble’ Johnson – who was also a fighter training under coach Henry Hooft- is a good example.

Is moving up to light heavyweight the right move for Rockhold? Or is this simply a bump in the road, and should he stay at the weight in which he became champion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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The McGregor Dilemma 2.0

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After Conor McGregor’s demolition of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, in November 2016, which ultimately earned him the UFC Lightweight title, the Irish-born star had the world at his feet.

Now, after being away from the sport, not defending his UFC Lightweight title in 438 days and counting, and moving ever closer to being stripped by Dana White, where does he go from here?

 

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Today, we are looking at the multiple opportunities awaiting McGregor’s return.

Firstly, we will highlight the more realistic options available to the current Lightweight champion.

 

Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian Lightweight with a perfect 25-0 MMA record is thought to be the biggest threat to McGregor’s throne.

Possibility – 8/10

 

Tony Ferguson. The TUF 13 winner who currently boasts a 10-fight win streak is also seen as a serious threat to the near ‘untouchable-status’ of “The Notorious”.

Possibility – 8/10

 

Georges St. Pierre. Another fight rumoured to be favoured by the company and its fans is the mega-fight between Canada’s own GSP and the Irish native, Conor McGregor.

Possibility – 6/10

 

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Now, we move on to less likely fight possibilities for the former P4P king.

 

Tyron Woodley. The Welterweight champion has previously had a heated exchange of words with McGregor on multiple occasions.

Possibility – 5/10

 

Max Holloway. Although the current Featherweight king once fought the SBG representative in the past, the lack of competition in his division could well open up a potential rematch for these two UFC icons.

Possibility – 5/10

 

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Lastly, we point out the competition the Irishman is least likely to face.

 

Floyd Mayweather. Conor McGregor made history when he entered the Boxing ring to faceoff with one of the greatest boxers of all time, and with speculation of a rematch, could we see the Boxing legend enter the Octagon?

Possibility – 1/10

 

Paulie Malignaggi. The short history between McGregor and Malignaggi was enough to spark rumours of a possible Boxing match between the two.

Possibility – 2/10

 

Manny Pacquiao. Just as word got around that McGregor and Pacquiao were close to agreeing on a Boxing bout agreement, the news died down, but will we see these two face off in Conor’s return fight?

Possibility – 2/10

 

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There is our list of potential opponents who await the Irish stars return, but who will he face?

 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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John Kavanagh says 2018 will be a big year for Conor McGregor

“The plan is forming, but as they say, stay tuned. “

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With a 14 month hiatus from competing in mixed martial arts, there has been a lot of question marks surrounding the UFC lightweight champion, Conor McGregor and if he will ever return to the octagon.  After picking up a multi-million dollar cheque for his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather many people have questioned whether or not McGregor will compete again but his head coach and close friend John Kavanagh stated in a recent interview with BBC Northern Ireland that he will be pushing for MMA rather than another fight in boxing.

“I think 2018 will be another big year for us,” Kavanagh said. “Exactly what that is, I don’t know yet. The plan is forming, but as they say, stay tuned.  In my opinion, I’ll be pushing very hard for MMA. The boxing was a nice detour from what we’ve done, but mixed martial arts is my passion. If I have anything to do with it, he’ll be in the octagon this year.”

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He also touched on the subject of the UFC lightweight division with the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson not recognising Conor as the lightweight champion. “Conor is still the champion. They can say what they want – I have his belt at home, actually,” Kavanagh said. “He’s still the champion. He’s making the decision on what makes sense for the next move. It’s kind of early days yet. We’re just watching how that has developed while he’s been away; he’s had other going things on. Let’s see what happens in 2018. I’m excited about it, anyway.”

The Notorious has hit the headlines several times in the 14 months since he won the UFC lightweight championship again Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 but Kavanagh says Conor is now getting back into regular training. “I’m happy to see him back just regular training,” Kavanagh stated. “He had a lot going on in his life, a lot of stuff outside of fighting was going on in his life. He seems to be getting the hang of all that. He’s back training almost every day now.”

Will Conor McGregor return to the octagon in 2018 or will he take another shot at boxing?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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