Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson might be past opponents, however the mutual respect between them was beyond words. However due to current situations, that might be affected, at least from Cormier’s side.
When middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero knocked Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in February, there were opinions of Rockhold moving up to light heavyweight. At the door ready, was Gustafsson. However, Cormier, who is also the training partner of Rockhold, thought Gustafsson’s callout was disrespectful as Rockhold was just knocked out. He thought it was ‘kicking when he was already down’.
There after champion Cormier was scheduled to fight then heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in a super fight at UFC 226. Gustafsson and Rockhold were scheduled to fight at UFC 227. However Rockhold got injured and had to pull out of the fight and got replaced by former title challenger Volkan Ozdemir. But again even Ozdemir had to pull out due to an injury.
Meanwhile, Cormier defeated Miocic to become to the heavyweight champion. Gustafsson expressed desire to move upto heavyweight to fight Cormier.
According to Cormier, Gustafsson refused to fight replacement Khalil Rountree. Another opportunity knocked in as Anthony Smith knocked out Shogun Rua and agreed to step in to fight Gustafsson. However just minutes after that, Gustafsson’s manager revealed Gustafsson is out from his UFC 227 fight due to injury.
The above events didn’t go well with Cormier as the double champ weighed on the topic in a post on his social media. (via Instagram):
View this post on Instagram
Dear Alex, I don’t know what happened to you going back to the Rockhold situation. You have always been a stand up guy but your behavior changed. From calling a guy out the day after he got knocked out, to now offering to fight me knowing I have a broken hand, after Volkan couldn’t go. Now you’ve turned down Jan, turned down Khalil all while calling for a heavyweight title fight. Now, moments after Anthony Smith does his work like an animal you decide you’re hurt. Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015, but you and I won’t share the octagon again. I am disappointed in who you’ve become. You are so entitled, man, I can’t deal with delusional people. Good luck recovering. Our time has passed. See you from the commentary table. DC @alexthemauler #wegoourseparateways