When Daniel Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 to claim the heavyweight championship, he became only the second man in UFC history to hold titles simultaneously in two different weight classes . The first, Conor McGregor, had a short-lived run as champ-champ, with the UFC stripping him of his featherweight title only two weeks after he won the lightweight belt. Now it appears Cormier is in a similar boat.
Speaking recently with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Cormier suggested that the UFC is pressuring him to relinquish his light heavyweight title so Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson can fight for it later this year.
”I imagine they’re going to take that belt, because I am scheduled to fight Brock Lesnar [at heavyweight],” Cormier said. “I can’t fight at 205 first, so I’m pretty sure that they will take that title.”
Cormier revealed that the UFC originally intended to strip him so a rumored fight between Gustafsson and Yoel Romero could be for the light heavyweight title, but when that bout fell through, the company shifted its focus towards a Jones-Gustafsson title rematch. Cormier also revealed that though he had previously said he was wanted to defend his 205-pound title again before defending his heavyweight belt against Lesnar, that became impossible due to a broken hand that will keep him out until next year. Instead, Cormier has his eyes fully set ahead on the Lesnar fight and the financial windfall that will accompany it.
”If a fight with Brock Lesnar for the amount of money that brings and the prestige that that brings is your fallback plan, that’s a pretty good one to have,” Cormier said.
But what about after the Lesnar fight? Cormier has steadfastly maintained that he intends to retire from MMA in March, on his 40th birthday. With a fight against Lesnar taking place in January, that doesn’t leave much time for Cormier to get in one final fight. Also, Cormier previously said that he had “moved past” a third fight with Jones. But with the prospect of one final crack that his bitter rival now looming so tantalizingly on the horizon, it appears Cormier can’t help himself and would like to close out his career with a third bout against Jones.
”I can’t turn this off. It’s what makes me uniquely me: my competitiveness and my desire to fight and compete against the best in the world,” Cormier concluded. “And at the bottom of it, no matter how much I talk garbage about this dude, not matter how much I disrespect him, he’s still one of the greatest fighters ever, and I have never not said that.
“He’s a phenomenal talent, he’s a fantastic fighter [and] he’s just a cheater. And ultimately that fault – that he’s a cheater – does not deter me from wanting to compete against him again.”
Stay ready. Conor McGregor open to fight replacement if Khabib Nurmagomedov pulls out of UFC 229.
Strips. ‘I fell out of love with the game’: Conor McGregor on being stripped of UFC titles.
Salt. Jon Jones responds to GSP’s PED criticism: ‘I guess brain damage is real.’
Official. Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega set for UFC 231 in Toronto
Comeback. Alberto Del Rio announces he’s preparing for MMA return with Combate Americas.
Fights. Michelle Waterson on Donald Cerrone-Mike Winkeljohn beef: ‘Families get into fights sometimes.’
The MMA Hour with Gegard Mousasi, Michael McDonald, and Alberto Del Rio.
More Khabib pre-UFC 229.
5 things you might not know about Conor.
Nate still in.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing Bellator 206 and the biggest event of the year, UFC 206.
Jon & Florian. Previewing UFC 229 plus an interview with Tyron Woodley.
Pretty sure Nate is the most called out fighter other than Conor, actually.
This is a great idea.
So many words from Kenny.
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Every fighter enters with a certain skill set and level of confidence on fight night. Perhaps no fighter shows up with the confidence & belief that allows them to bring forth ALL of their skills and more on fight night quite like McGregor. The lights, the crowd and the danger of the octagon all seem to elevate his energy and focus. It’s not all about belief however. Confidence without skill means nothing in the fight game; a dull blade that swings will not cut. Conor’s blades are sharp, he believes them to be sharp and will thrust and slash at the right time. In Khabib Nurmagomedov, we have a fighter that has been hardened over decades. Khabib is from the Caucasus region in Russia referred to as Dagestan. Russia has produced most of what many would consider the best wrestlers in the world and Dagestan takes great pride in helping to produce them. One of them from that area, Buvaisar Saitiev is widely considered one of the best Olympic freestyle wrestlers ever. A video of Khabib as a boy taking on a small bear in a wrestling match has already made him a legend in the fight world. He showed great fighting spirit back then as he does now. Since that time he has used a pressure based style backed up with superior takedowns to hammer his opponents with the same type of ground and pound we witnessed in the late 90’s and early 2000’s with elite level American wrestlers. Khabib has impressively been able to utilize this style in 2018. While Nurmagomedov shows some weakness with his striking, his opponent McGregor shows some vulnerability on the ground. All 26 of Nurmagomedov’s opponents have failed to defeat him. Just like the bear that was his training partner as a boy, he has mauled them all with a style that would make any mother grizzly proud. When looking at the level of competition of both fighters, it is clear to me that Conor has faced tougher opponents. With Conor, he hides his knives well and stabs you when you least expect it. With Khabib, you know what he wants to do but you can’t stop it. He has become the bear that he trained with as a child. So here we are on fight week, hunter vs beast. I’ll be breaking it down on @anikflorianpod & @ufctonight this week.
I have no idea what is going on here.
Carrington Banks (7-1) vs. Mandel Nallo (6-0); Bellator 207, Oct. 12.
Kristi Lopez (2-0-1) vs. Sarah Click (1-2); Bellator 207, Oct. 12.
Max Holloway (19-3) vs. Brian Ortega (14-0); UFC 231, Dec. 8.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!
Should the UFC strip Cormier of his light heavyweight title?
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