Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has officially crowned a new light heavyweight champion -- with Jon Jones indefinitely suspended -- following the UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier" pay-per-view (PPV) event last night (Sat., May 23, 2015) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
His name is Daniel Cormier.
That's a name most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans did not expect to see atop the division, considering it was just a few short months ago that "Bones" sent him to the back of the 205-pound line after a fairly-convincing five-round unanimous decision win.
I guess the question coming out of that fight, which headlined UFC 182, is that if Jones was No. 1 in the world at light heavyweight, who was No. 2?
Looks like it's "DC," whether we like it or not.
And it helps matters that Cormier had to walk through fire to prove it, because Anthony Johnson nearly sent him through the cage wall with a shot to the dome early in round one (recap). "Rumble" continued to pour it on early and often, but ran out of gas and was forced to tap in the third frame.
After grabbing his gold, Cormier ordered the beleaguered Jones to "get his shit together," because he would be waiting for him to return (that's not begging, in case you were wondering). It appears a rematch is in order, unless "Bones" serves jail time for his alleged hit-and-run, or someone else can strip the strap in the interim.
Not many names to choose from.
Rashad Evans, ranked No. 4, hasn't competed in a year-and-a-half due to injury and still doesn't have a timetable for his return. Alexander Gustafsson is right up there at No. 2 (see the rankings here), but is coming off a knockout loss to Johnson, leaving Ryan Bader at No. 5 as the next best option (again).
A win for Johnson would have been better for the division and a more appealing first fight for the return of Jones, who is guaranteed a title shot upon his return. But that would have required "Rumble" to win and well, like he told Joe Rogan after his UFC 187 loss, Cormier was the better man.
Better than him and for all intents and purposes, better than everyone else. You can't say "except Jones," because "Bones" is not on the active roster, and may not be for a very long time (or ever again), so there is no point in punishing Cormier for the mistakes of his former nemesis.
"DC" is the "real" light heavyweight champion until proven otherwise.
For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.