The Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson light heavyweight headliner in the upcoming UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place this December inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, may not be for the 205-pound title after all.
That’s because reigning division kingpin, Daniel Cormier, could refuse to surrender his strap if he loses to Derrick Lewis when the two collide for the heavyweight crown next month in New York City, a late addition to the oft-troubled UFC 230 fight card.
After all, why should the Olympian have to go home empty handed?
“If I lose to Derrick, then who is to say I don’t go, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go defend my light heavyweight title. Now you can’t take it,’” Cormier told the combat sports media (via MMA Fighting). “Maybe that adds a whole other part to the equation. You can’t take both of my belts if I lost that one. Right? So do I really have that much to lose if I have a second one? Look at it like that.”
The reason for stripping Cormier is to allow “DC” to remain at heavyweight, where he’s expected to battle Brock Lesnar when the pro wrestling superstar makes his Octagon return in early 2019, assuming the latter clears his drug-testing hurdles.
A loss to “Black Beast” would likely jeopardize those plans.
“I am the light heavyweight champion until [Jones and Gustafsson] fight,” Cormier said. “So if the light heavyweight champion loses his heavyweight title and goes, ‘Wait I’m willing to defend my belt,’ now we have some conversations to have.”
That might not be a conversation promotion president Dana White wants to have, particularly now that both “Bones” and “The Mauler” have signed contracts for their championship do-over to close out 2018.
Not that contracts mean anything these days, but you get my point.