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Daniel Cormier releases statement on Alexander Gustafsson retirement

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Daniel Cormier - Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Alexander Gustafsson may never have worn UFC gold himself, but he has the respect of the sport’s greatest champions.

Current light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones already paid his respects to the Swedish MMA pioneer, who twice fought Jones in championship bouts and retired this past weekend after a loss to Anthony Smith at UFC Stockholm. Now it’s Daniel Cormier, another former foe of Gustafsson’s, showing some love.

Cormier took to Instagram on Sunday to share his thoughts on Gustafsson’s decision to hang up the gloves:

“Alex, you will forever be one of the biggest players in my journey,” Cormier wrote. “We’ve agreed, we have argued and bickered, but ultimately you made me better. You made the sport better. You are a warrior and will be truly missed!

“I understand the motivation changes and for you it is now your family. I say now you’re starting to really live the good life. Congrats on a great career my man! You’re a hammer! See you around.”

Cormier, currently scheduled to defend his heavyweight title in a rematch with Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 in August, went five rounds with Gustafsson at UFC 192 on Oct. 3, 2015. It was the first defense of Cormier’s light heavyweight championship reign and he earned a narrow split decision win over Gustafsson after five rounds of back-and-forth action.