Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, who captured the heavyweight crown by melting Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 last weekend in Las Vegas, has two belts to defend as he finishes up his 2018 fight campaign.
And with a zillion-dollar payday waiting for him in early 2019, courtesy of a Brock Lesnar heavyweight showdown, “DC” is setting his sights on the Jones-free 205-pound weight class for his next title defense.
That said, the Olympian raised a few eyebrows when he told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media his first choice would be former light heavyweight titleholder Mauricio Rua, who currently sits at No. 8 in the official rankings.
Not surprisingly, “Shogun” is on board.
“Winning this fight I absolutely deserve this chance because of my history and my career in MMA,” Rua told MMA Fighting. “But I’m actually not thinking about the belt now because I have a good opponent ahead of me and I can’t think about it. The belt is my dream, of course, but I have to go step by step. I know that I will be closer if I win this fight.”
First things first.
In order for Rua (25-10) to earn the next light heavyweight title shot, he must first get past dangerous 205-pound slugger Anthony Smith. They’ll do the deed at the upcoming UFC Hamburg event on FOX Sports 1 a week from Sunday night.
Defeating Smith would give the Brazilian four straight wins, the most of any active contender, and hey, if we’re giving a heavyweight title shot to “dick chest Lesnar,” who hasn’t recorded a win in over eight years and is coming off a drug-test suspension, there’s no reason to not let Rua have his chance to pull the sword from the proverbial stone.