Be that as it may, “The Mauler” also couldn’t help but heap praise on the newly crowned double-champ for his historic knockout win over Stipe Miocic.
“He did great. I’m impressed. I was impressed by the way he finished Stipe and how he won the fight. I’m very impressed by the guy, he did great,” Gustafsson told Luke Thomas on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
The perennial light heavyweight contender said he didn’t have a prediction for the heavyweight title clash, but insisted that he thinks Cormier is a better fighter at the heavier weight class.
“I didn’t really have a prediction for that fight because I know it’s a very tough fight to predict, but I had a feeling [that ‘DC’ would win]. ‘DC’ is tough and he’s such a good athlete,” said Gustafsson.
“I think he’s better at heavyweight than he is at light heavyweight. I think he’s stronger, he can eat and he doesn’t have to stress about the weight. I think he’ll do even better as a heavyweight. I had a feeling he’d win the fight, but just the way he finished [the fight] — it’s probably the wrong thing to say, but he made it look easy.”
The Swede, who lost a split decision to Cormier when they met for the light heavyweight strap at UFC 192, doesn’t think his rival’s power translates as well at the lighter weight class.
“[Cormier’s punching power] wasn’t that bad [when we fought],” Gustafsson said. “I don’t remember him punching me that hard. I’ve been fighting guys that punch way harder, but he’s a very hard worker. He keeps pressuring and he keeps throwing punches. He’s really good with his wrestling and he doesn’t stop working in a fight — I think that’s his biggest strength.”