It would appear that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may potentially be targeting an interim light heavyweight title fight between one of the division’s top contenders and a former middleweight champion.
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is moving up in weight to challenge reigning heavyweight title holder Stipe Miocic for his belt. The two will throw down for the main event of UFC 226.
With that in mind, former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson has been quite vocal in his distaste for the champion’s decision to leave the division. “The Mauler” is looking for another shot to defeat Cormier, following the fighter’s tough decision loss to the champion.
Meanwhile former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, American Kickboxing Academy teammate to Daniel Cormier, has been voicing an interest in possibly moving up in weight to the light heavyweight division after suffering a knockout loss to Yoel Romero in a battle for the interim middleweight belt.
Gustafsson would go on to enter a heated social media exchange with Rockhold, claiming that he would take on the former title holder in Cormier’s absence. Now fellow former UFC middleweight title holder Michael Bisping has come forward to claim that Rochold, the last fighter “The Count” knocked out in his career, may soon be competing for an interim belt in a different weight class.
“Honestly………… I don’t know. But, I hear the last person I knocked out may be fighting for an interim belt. If he wins I’m in. I’m 225 right now and pretty ripped. Never making 185 again.”
Honestly………… I don’t know. But, I hear the last person I knocked out may be fighting for an interim belt. If he wins I’m in. I’m 225 right now and pretty ripped. Never making 185 again. https://t.co/OWz2gxfSUZ
— michael (@bisping) May 5, 2018
Mixed martial arts journalist Ariel Helwani later took to Twitter to respond to a fight fan’s question. The fan inquired if Gustafsson vs. Rockhold was in the works. Helwani replied:
“It has definitely been discussed and bandied about but not agreed to yet by all parties. More of a timing than matchup issue at his point.”
It has definitely been discussed and bandied about but not agreed to yet by all parties. More of a timing than matchup issue at his point. https://t.co/sAA9BPvI0p
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 5, 2018
With Rockhold and Cormier being such close teammates and friends, it would certainly create an interesting dynamic if Rockhold was to earn the interim light heavyweight title.