Gustafsson has a good portion of his right tricep covered in small triangle tattoos, each one representing a fight. When he wins, they're black. When he loses, they're blank and when he loses to former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones they're filled in half way.
"It's going to happen," Gustafsson said of the tattoo. "It's very painful but I have to do it. It's going to be empty and plain. That was a brutal loss but now I'm sitting here. It's all over and I'm just feeling very motivated and I'm looking forward to the fight."
Gustafsson watched Cormier batter Johnson May 23 at UFC 187 to win the vacant light heavyweight title, seeing plenty of opportunities to exploit his future opponent.
"Tons of them," said Gustafsson. "It was so frustrating to watch that fight, but it is what it is. Anthony did a great job winning over me. All credit to him. DC did a great job against Anthony. That's MMA."
Gustafsson admits he didn't have much hope for stepping into a title shot, but believes he was simply the best option.
Fellow contender Ryan Bader has aggressively campaigned for the title shot, having won four straight fights dating back to 2013.
"I haven't actually even been thinking that much about the belt," said Gustafsson. "I haven't seen myself in that position, really, because of my loss. But here I am now and I'm very thankful. I'm so happy and very excited. I can't wish for more.
"I believe that the UFC wants to see me against DC. That's so simple. They really want to see us fight. Also, a good job from my managers, too. They've been working hard for this opportunity and I'm very thankful for this so I can't wait."
No date has been set for the title bout, but Gustafsson says he'd prefer it take place after summer.
"The opponent is set and also, the belt. I'm just happy for that."
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Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) June 4, 2015
Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) June 5, 2015
Give it up.
Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) June 4, 2015
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 5, 2015
He and Mark Munoz.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) June 4, 2015
This Week in Struggle.
Life is hard in the mine !! Don't know why me having a regular job is such a big story?... https://t.co/m2Rv37rVyi— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) June 4, 2015
"@Kidrauhl_Eminem: you're a kick boxer right why couldn't you take the leg kick from anthony Pettis ??" That was to my soft ass liver— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) June 5, 2015
Came home from Vegas to a ripped liner in my pool. Next thing u know this is what it looks like.... https://t.co/ZF7mXo3xjn— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) June 2, 2015
James Krause (@TheJamesKrause) June 2, 2015
You know you put on a couple pounds when your regular jeans turn into skinny jeans #fighterproblems— Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) June 2, 2015
Anyone know how legal this whole UFC USADA thing is? We aren't employees. I'm all for drug testing but can you be tested without a job?— Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) June 4, 2015
For all you internet tough guys. Find another page to troll. We all know you don't want it. Shhhh— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) June 3, 2015
I wake up planning to eat healthy but then there is a burrito place right in front of my face calling my name and tempting me with its glory— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) May 31, 2015
Jessamyn Duke (@jessamynduke) June 2, 2015
Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) June 4, 2015
Damn junkies got in my car and stole some money change and fight shirts out my car— Michael (@TeamRocBiggie) June 4, 2015
Omgggggg this witch at Walmart wouldn't sell me beer cuz I didn't have my ID..fk me lol— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) June 4, 2015
Announced yesterday (June 4 2015)
Timothy Johnson vs. Jared Rosholt at UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs. Teixeira
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MegaMax.
UFC Fight Night New Orleans goes down this Saturday and fight fans are only slightly interested in whether Dan Henderson can dig himself out of his 1-5 slump in his last 6 fights. While the card seems to be lacking important match ups, there is thankfully one that sticks out to me in deserving some notoriety.
Hometown hero and former featherweight contender, Dustin Poirier looks to break into the division's upper echelon as he faces the dangerously underrated Hawaiian, Yancy Medeiros in a fight that could see the winner propelled into a fight that could lead to a spot in the rankings. Can Poirier please the hometown crowd or will Medeiros play spoiler to Poirier's return home that has been five years in the making?
Who are the Fighters?
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.