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Daniel Cormier: Alexander Gustafsson could be 'golden ticket' to Jon Jones rematch

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Esther Lin

From the moment Anthony "Rumble" Johnson forced his way into the next shot at Jon Jones' UFC light heavyweight title by running over Alexander Gustafsson on Sunday night, one logical next fight in the light heavyweight division became immediately clear: Gustafsson vs. Daniel Cormier.

Both guys are coming off recent, high-profile losses, and both are on the very short list of competitors fans consider legitimate title challengers at 205 pounds.

The man known as DC understands it, too.

"He's got the biggest name," Cormier said of Gustafsson on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "We're both coming off of a loss. So it would make sense. If that's the case, if they say Daniel, you and Alexander fight, and the winner will get a title shot against Anthony or Jon, then, yes."

Granted, Cormier is not one to pick his battles, saying he's never lobbied the UFC for a specific fight.

"I've never once picked a fight," he said. "UFC has always called me and said, ‘Daniel you're fighting this guy.' when I fought Jon for the belt, I had fought Patrick Cummins and Dan Henderson, but [Cummins] was supposed to be Rashad Evans, my first fight in the division was supposed to be Rashad Evans, so they always tell me. I never turn down a fight. If I was going to turn down any, it would have been Rashad because we're buddies."

Still, at age 35 and with his popularity at an all-time high despite his loss to Jones at UFC 182, Cormier understands that the right opponent is pivotal for his career moving forward.

"It needs to be guy with name recognition," Cormier said. "So where the people say, ‘ok Daniel beat this guy, we need to see him either fight for the championship again, or he's very close. Because to me Alexander and I, realistically, are two guys who could fight for the belt. Once you get past us, and Rashad, they're all rematches. past them who you going to put in the cage with Jon?"

Which brings Cormier back to Gustafsson.

"Maybe the golden ticket is Gustafsson," he said. "Because if Rashad gets Gustafsson, maybe Rashad gets the title shot."