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Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson calls Jon Jones 'pound-for-pound best' and that you can 'only consider yourself a real champion if you beat him'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Alexander Gustafsson has a shot at becoming a UFC champion later this year, but not without an asterisk.

With former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in exile, Gustafsson will serve as the first challenge to newly minted champ Daniel Cormier.

While Cormier seems content with the title he beat out Anthony Johnson for at UFC 186 in May, Gustafsson isn't so sure.

"Whoever is holding the belt is the official champion, but everybody knows that the best guy out there is Jon Jones," Gustafsson told Fightland. "He's the pound for pound best guy in the world and you can probably only consider yourself a real world champion if you beat him."

Still haunted by his unanimous decision loss to Jones at UFC 165, Gustafsson is holding out hope for another crack.

"The fight that everybody wants to see is a rematch with me and Jones," said Gustafsson. "Let's see what happens but I'm ready for that, it's the fight that has been motivating me. I think it's a fight that is going to happen one day, for sure."

As for now, the Swede will have his hands full with Cormier.

No date or venue has been set for the light heavyweight title bout, but Gustafsson says he's 'already in camp and it's 13 weeks out from the fight.' That would mean the weekend of Sept. 5, the weekend currently slated to host UFC 191 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Despite Cormier's wrestling pedigree, Gustafsson says he won't shy away from grappling the two-time Olympian.

"I think he's very confident with his striking, he's obviously a very high caliber athlete," said Gustafsson. "He's got a lot of belief in himself and I'm expecting him to trade with me a little bit, I certainly don't think he's going to be afraid to stand up with me or anything like that. I kind of feel the same about his wrestling.

"Wrestling is all about taking you[sic] opportunities when different situations unfold. If I find myself in the right situation against Cormier, I'll use my wrestling too. We'll have to see what happens, this is an MMA fight and anything can happen."

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TWEETS

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Big one.

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Heading to Mexico.

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They should fight.

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Cool.

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Moving on.

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It begins.

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Get well soon.

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Careful out there.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (June 9 2015)

Derek Brunson out, Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne

Sergio Moraes out, Steve Kennedy vs. Peter Sobotta at UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne

Myles Jury out, Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder at UFC on FOX 16

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