Alexander Gustafsson is next in line for the 205 strap PERIOD. After his outstanding KO victory over Glover Teixeira, Gustafsson made a case to jump Jimi Manuwa as the fighter that should be in line to fight the winner of Cormier versus Jones.
The UFC’s Light Heavyweight division is likely their most top heavy and least talented. Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, and Jimi Manuwa clearly separate themselves from the pack. The rest of the fighters in the division either go fight for Bellator or are getting ready to join the Legends Division (UFC Legends League – Heavyweights).
The lack of talent in the 205 division accompanied with the glorious fight that was Jones versus Gustafsson 1 gives me all the feels for how epic Gustafsson vs. Jones 2 will be. Gustafsson has 4 losses, 3 of which came in his last 6 fights. Those 3 losses are to Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson, and Daniel Cormier. Accompanied with those losses are wins over Shogun, Jimi Manuwa, and Glover Teixeira. Essentially, Gustafsson has cleaned out the division and now only needs to fight the top 2 fighters to claim the belt.
This is how the Light Heavyweight division will play out over the next year and a half. Jon Jones will beat Daniel Cormier and celebrate said victory by
drinking beers and snorting coke…emmm eating pizza. Once he passes all of his post fight drug tests he will then fight Gustafsson. Gustafsson will beat Jones, forcing Jones to move up to Heavyweight. In the meantime Daniel Cormier will fight, and lose to Shogun. Shogun and Cormier will retire, leaving us with Gustafsson and Manuwa as the only “names” in the 205 lb. division. Gustafsson will beat Manuwa again, this time defending his light heavyweight championship.
Concluding this extremely likely scenario, we can see that Alexander Gustafsson is right where he needs to be to effectively clean out the 205 lb. division by the end of 2018. This will also give the division time to establish a few talented stars to bolster the division.