Daniel Cormier was asked to surrender his light heavyweight title last week, so that Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson could compete for the vacant 205-pound strap, kept on ice while “DC” chased his retirement payday against Brock Lesnar at heavyweight.
A little “drama” notwithstanding, the belt was handed over without incident.
Jones smashed Gustafsson at UFC 232 to reclaim his crown (watch it), stripped in the wake of 2017’s drug test failure that put “Bones” on the sidelines, despite a sensational knockout win over Cormier in the UFC 214 main event.
“As of right now with the Lesnar thing, that’s kinda still up in the air,” Cormier told The MMA Hour. “Or, if he doesn’t fight, then I’ll fight Stipe Miocic. I talked to the boss (Dana White) the other day and he’s talking to me about fights and Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones and everybody, and I said, ‘If Lesnar doesn’t go, Stipe has to be first. He deserves it, and I’ve said it from the beginning. If it ain’t Brock, I want to fight Stipe Miocic and give him what’s rightfully his, a rematch for this title.’ He’s going to get beat again, but at least he’ll get a chance to fight for that belt again.”
Already the light heavyweight champion during Jones’ hiatus, Cormier went back to heavyweight to challenge Stipe Miocic for the division strap, stopping the full-time firefighter at UFC 226 in the very first round.
Miocic has been clamoring for a rematch but would obviously take a back seat to Lesnar, simply because the pro wrestling import is a pay-per-view (PPV) behemoth. That leaves Jones with enough time to defend his title against this top contender.
Barring any injuries or drug test shenanigans, of course.