It looks like Daniel Cormier didn’t have to wait long to find out who his first title defense will come against.

On Wednesday Night, UFC President Dana White revealed the UFC was targeting a title between the recently crowned light heavyweight champion Cormier and Swedish superstar Alexander Gustafssson on upcoming card later this year.

Cormier (16-1) was crowned the light heavyweight champion after submitting Anthony Johnson  halfway through the third round of their main event title fight at UFC 187 last month. Prior to this win, ‘DC’ suffered a decision loss to then champion Jon Jones in January. However, Jones would eventually be stripped of his title after a hit-and-run incident in April, resulting in the UFC booking the title fight between Cormier and Johnson for hte vacant belt. Cormier previously earned his title shot against Jones after earning  back-to-back stoppage wins over Patrick Cummins and Dan Henderson.

Gustafsson (16-3) was last seen on the receiving end of a violent first round knockout at the hands Johnson at UFC on FOX 14 in January. This setback not only cost Gustafsson a title shot but also marked his second loss in his last three bouts. ‘The Mauler previously loss heart breaking decision to Jones, in their critically acclaimed title fight at UFC 165 in 2013. He would rebound with a TKO win over Jimi Manuwa in the main event of UFC Fight Night 37 in March 2014, earning both Knockout and Fight of the Night in the process.

There is currently no word on where or when this fight will take place but UFC 191 in September at the MGM could make sense.

Staying the light heavyweight division, former UFC champion Rashad Evans is looking to return from injury in the fall and was hoping for a matchup against the surging Ryan Bader for his first fight back.

Evans (19-3-1), winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, has not stepped foot inside the Octagon since his first round TKO victory over Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in November 2013. Prior to this win, ‘Suga’ earned a close split decision over former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 161 in June 2013. This victory snapped Evans’ two fight losing streak, which included a decision loss to Jones in their main event title fight at UFC 145 in April 2012. He was originally scheduled to meet Cormier at UFC 170 before a knee injury forced him out 10 days before the bout.

Bader (19-4), a former two-time Division I All-American wrestler out of Arizona State University, will be looking pick up his fifth straight win inside the octagon and sixth in his last seven bouts. In his most recent outing, Power MMA product earned a close split decision over fellow collegiate wrestling standout Phil Davis at UFC on FOX 14 in January. He was scheduled to face Cormier in the main event of UFC 68, which takes place this Saturday in New Orleans. However Cormier was eventually pulled in to replace Jones against Johnson, forcing Bader off the card all together.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.