For months, Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson have been preparing to fight, all the while toiling in the shadow of former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. But after weighing in on Friday afternoon in Houston, the two are officially set to take the spotlight in a battle for Cormier’s belt at UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson.
After Jones was stripped of the title following a felony hit-and-run accident in April, Cormier defeated Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 for the vacant championship. Jones was sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to a felony on Tuesday of this week, but won’t be eligible to return until the UFC’s internal investigation into the incident is completed. So now, Cormier will make the first defense of his belt against Gustafsson on Saturday at the Toyota Center.
It’s a rare occasion that a fighter coming off of a loss gets a title shot, but the lanky Swede finds himself in that position, having lost to Johnson in January of this year. He’s hoping for redemption when he faces Cormier.
Neither fighter had any issue making weight, and neither man had an issue with his confidence.
“Houston, you got a new world champion tomorrow,” said Gustafsson after stepping off of the scale.
The champ, however, didn’t back down, saying, “Tomorrow, I release the chains. I allow Alex to stop worrying about being a fighter. He’s talked about retiring time and time again. Go back to Sweden and become a model. I release the chains tomorrow; I’m done with him.”
The talent on the card doesn’t drop off from there, although a welterweight co-main event between contenders Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley was scrapped on Friday after Hendricks had health issues during his weigh cut. The still features a light heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Ryan Bader that could determine who gets the next title shot if Jones doesn’t return any time soon. Other pivotal bouts include Jessica Eye vs. Julianna Pena in a bantamweight showdown and a flyweight fight between top-ranked Joseph Benavidez and Ali Bagautinov.
Prelim fighter Adriano Martins missed weight by four pounds and did not attempt a second weigh-in. His fight with Islam Makhachev is still on, but Martins forfeited 20-percent of his show money for missing weight.
UFC 192: Cormier vs. Gustafsson Weigh-in Results
Main Card (on Pay-Per-View)
Daniel Cormier (205) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (204)
Johny Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley – CANCELLED
Ryan Bader (206) vs. Rashad Evans (205)
Shawn Jordan (265) vs. Ruslan Magomedov (236)
Joseph Benavidez (126) vs. Ali Bagautinov (125)
Jessica Eye (136) vs. Julianna Pena (135)
Preliminary Bouts (on FOX Sports 1)
Yair Rodriguez (145) vs. Daniel Hooker (146)
Alan Jouban (170) vs. Albert Tumenov (170)
Adriano Martins (156) vs. Islam Makhachev (156)
Rose Namajunas (115) vs. Angela Hill (115)
Preliminary Bouts (on UFC Fight Pass)
Francisco Trevino (160) vs. Sage Northcutt (156)
Chris Cariaso (126) vs. Sergio Pettis (126)
Derrick Lewis (265) vs. Viktor Pesta (237)