Future UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier will be striped of his light heavyweight belt at UFC 232 without a fight, but he concedes that the show must go on.
Jon Jones makes his return to the UFC on the December 29 card, where he will fight Alexander Gustafsson for a second time. The duo will also be fighting for the light heavyweight championship title, which Cormier will be stripped of as the fight starts.
While 205-pound champion, Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic in the opening round to win the heavyweight title belt, making him the UFC’s second ‘champ champ’ after Conor McGregor. He will fight in his first defence of the title on November 3 against Derrick Lewis.
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It’s gonna be a mad dash to Madison Square. I’m grinding and pushing. Thanks @cheflarios and the @lockhartandleith family for dropping everything and being available immediately. The nutrition will have to be on point to do this so soon. DC #champ #doublechamp #ufc230 #kingshit #WeAreAKA #andstill 📷@Iamthebay
While he was upset Jones was put in pole position for his belt, Cormier is confident that he would be first in line to take it back if he decided to go back down to light heavyweight.
“Initially, I was very disappointed they were going to give him the title fight because I really didn’t do anything wrong to get stripped, but I understand the organization has to move forward,” the 39-year-old told flocombat.com.
“The reality is I was OK with the decision a little bit more due to the fact that whoever wins the fight, if I decide to go back to 205 [pounds], I’m guaranteed the title fight.”
Speaking of Jones v Gustafsson, Cormier believes his rival Jones has the edge on the big Swede in the octagon.
“I think he wins the fight,” Cormier said of Jones.
“I think Gustafsson is a fantastic fighter. I just believe that he caught him on a night when it was like this fight for me with Lewis. Nobody gave Alexander a chance, and I think Jon took that mindset into the fight too, and that’s why the fight was so close.
“I shared the octagon with both and I think Jones is just a better fighter. I’ve got to be honest with you.”