When Daniel Cormier faces Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 on October 3rd, he won’t be just making the first defense of the UFC Light Heavyweight title, he will be looking to establish a new era.

A new Era?

With former champion Jon Jones still in the sidelines for his out-of-the-octagon issues, Daniel Cormier won the vacant 205-pound title by methodically beating the hard hitting Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187. But with his predecessor being the longest reigning LHW champion of All-time at 1,501 days and 8 title defenses and the fact that Jones beat him soundly by decision at UFC 178, Cormier is looking to establish a new era that he can rightfully call his. Beating Alexander Gustafsson will be a good start.

Swedish Mauler

Gustafsson is the UFC’s third ranked LHW and erupted in the spotlight when he took a controversial unanimous decision loss to Jon Jones in what many consider to be the greatest Light Heavyweight title fight of All-time. But Gustafsson’s stock appeared to have taken a dive following a shocking 1st round KO loss to Rumble Johnson last January in Sweden. But because Gustafsson was promised a title shot after his first bout with Jones, he will be facing Cormier on Saturday despite being 1-2 in his last 3 fights.

Date With Bones

The Cormier-Gustafsson showdown does not have the appeal of a super fight but it’s one that holds a huge consequence and serves as a prelude to the bigger fight. For one, Cormier and Gustafsson are the “guinea pigs” for the UFC’s new drug policy which utilizes full USADA rules,unannounced drug testing and banning of IV to rehydrate after the weigh-in. Aside from being that ground breaking  event, the fight will lead to a rematch with Jon Jones. Both Cormier and Gustafsson lost to Jones in the past and it will be interesting to see how the winner does the second time around.

Who Takes This?

Cormier-Gustaffson is stylistically intriguing because Cormier is probably the best wrestler in the sport while Gustafsson loves to strike from the outside. We’ve seen Gus strike with Jones and we saw how good he can be if he fights from the outside. But we’ve also seen Cormier shut down an aggressive striker like Rumble Johnson. Remember too that Johnson knocked out Gustafsson in just one round. The current odds have Cormier as a favorite at -340 while Gustafsson the underdog at +280. Both men are without a doubt elite 205 pound fighters, but it’s hard to imagine how Cormier won’t be able to control the fight with his supreme wrestling skills, especially since he wrestles with Cain Velasquez in practice. Cormier should take this fight to the ground and win by unanimous decision.

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