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Alexander Gustafsson wants to take UFC title from Jon Jones, not Daniel Cormier

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

From a fan's perspective, Alexander Gustafsson wouldn't mind seeing Daniel Cormier become the UFC light heavyweight champion by beating Jon Jones at UFC 182.

But selfishly, Gustafsson has a different rooting interest. There's only one person he wants to see across from him with the belt on the line. And it's not Cormier.

"Me personally, I want Jones to win, because I want to fight him," Gustafsson told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "If I want to take the belt from anyone, it would be Jones. Not DC."

Of course, for those plans to go into motion two things would have to occur. First, Jones would have to beat Cormier on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas. Then, Gustafsson would have to knock off Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 14 on Jan. 24 in Gustafsson's hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.

Jones and Gustafsson have a history. The two competed in one of the best UFC light heavyweight title fights ever at UFC 165 in September 2013. Jones took the unanimous decision to retain the belt, but many people think Gustafsson was the true winner. He seemed to do more damage.

The two stars were supposed to have their rematch this past September at UFC 178, but Gustafsson injured his knee and Cormier stepped in. The Jones-Cormier bout never happened either when Jones, too, hurt his knee. But because Jones and Cormier had so much heat with each other -- everyone remembers the press conference brawl in August -- Cormier was kept as the No. 1 contender.

"Well, I think 'DC' is a great athlete and a great person, so, like I said, it would be great to see him win because it would mix things up," Gustafsson said. "He's a great fighter."

That might be true. But for Gustafsson, that rematch with Jones would just have more juice.

On The MMA Hour, the Swede also spoke about the odd timeslot of UFC on FOX 14. Gustafsson and Johnson might not enter the Octagon until after 3 a.m. local time to accommodate the United States audience. Gustafsson said he would begin to train late at night his last few weeks of training camp to adjust.

"It's gonna be a big change," Gustafsson said. "I'm a morning person. I like to go to bed very early and get up very early. I'm very curious to see how this will affect me."

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