Many pundits were baffled after UFC president Dana White announced Wednesday that Daniel Cormier would break in his brand new light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson. After all, Gustafsson has dropped two of his last three scraps and is just five months removed from a vicious first round TKO loss to Anthony Johnson.
Never one to pull punches, First Round Management CEO Malki Kawa, who manages former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones (pictured), took to the Twitterverse to express his disbelief with that the UFC is doing with his client’s belt.
“It’s as if they’re mocking the belt even more. You lose to the real champ, then fight a guy who lost his last fight? Weird,” Kawa tweeted following White’s announcement.
Kawa is confused why the UFC would have Cormier, who was dominated by Jones only one bout before sliding into a title fight after Jones was stripped of his gold following April’s felony hit-and-run arrest, make his first defense against Gustafsson, who was just mauled in a top contender contest by Johnson.
Some thought Ryan Bader would get first dibs, particularly since he and Cormier have genuine beef which boiled over at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference when Bader confronted the newly-crowned 205-pound king.
Kawa didn’t say who he thought should have been granted the first crack at Cormier’s throne. It’s highly possible he would have bashed anyone the UFC would have handed it to, including Bader, who has won four straight but via aesthetically unappealing decision. Also, who knows if Bader will ever live down tapping out to a well-past-his-prime Tito Ortiz.
The current UFC light heavyweight rankings read: Johnson, then Gustafsson, followed by Bader, Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira.
No particular opponent was blatantly robbed for a title shot, so Kawa is likely still just salty Jones lost his belt despite never losing it in a fight. Jones is just losing in life right now, so perhaps his manager should be solely concerned about that.