Alexander Gustafsson is angling to fight before the end of the summer.
After being linked to a potential meeting against Yoel Romero by UFC president Dana White, the top-ranked light heavyweight contender posted a statement Thursday to social media expressing interest in a variety of fights, including the matchup against Romero.
Gustafsson wrote that he’d be open to filling in for Volkan Oezdemir or Mauricio Rua if either of the two contenders are unable to make their July 22 date at UFC Hamburg. Gustafsson said he’d also be willing to do the same and move up a weight class to serve as a back-up plan for the July 7 superfight between UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier.
Gustafsson expressed interest in the Romero matchup as well. However, his manager Nima Safapour told MMA Fighting that Gustafsson is eyeing a fight before August or will otherwise be content to wait for Cormier’s next 205-pound title defense. Gustafsson wrote that he expects Cormier to defend his light heavyweight title by the end of 2018 and asked Cormier to “stop wasting everyone’s time.”
Gustafsson (18-4) has won back-to-back fights over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, the latter of which earned him ‘Fight of the Night’ honors for a fifth-round knockout win.
The lanky Swede was previously targeting a late-summer return against former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, however Rockhold’s recent left shin injury derailed those plans.
Cormier called for a matchup between Gustafsson and Romero in the aftermath of Romero’s decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 — a callout which prompted Gustafsson to pen his Thursday response, which can be seen below.