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Morning Report: 'Thankful' for title shot, Alexander Gustafsson sees 'tons' of ways to beat Daniel Cormier

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Procrastinating over having his shame tattooed into his arm over his January loss to Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson isn't rethinking his method for record keeping.

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."

Blank triangles and title shots don't usually coincide but UFC president Dana White announced this week that Gustafsson will be the first to challenge light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

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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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MegaMax.

Which lightweight continues their climb on Saturday?

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.

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Who are the Fighters?

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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