Daniel Cormier and the UFC appear to be on two different pages. Cormier seems steadfast in staying at heavyweight, at least for the time being while the UFC would like him to drop to 205. Dana White has upped the stakes by offering Cormier a fast track at the championship.
Dana White has mentioned in the past that he would shoot Cormier to the front of the line to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title if he could get Cormier to drop to 205. White is again dangling that carrot out there for the former Olympiad as he indicated last week.
“He could drop to 205 and get a shot at the title in my opinion, on day one,” he said. “Look at the guys he’s beat at heavyweight. I actually prefer him at 205,” he said. “This heavyweight division isn’t like other heavyweight divisions. And in saying that, he beat Josh Barnett. That’s a big deal. I just don’t think he has the punching power at heavyweight that he’d have at 205.“
Cormier isn’t so hot on the idea. Cormier had a weight cut go wrong during the Olympics when his kidneys shut down as he dropped to 211 pounds. Cormier has been very non committal to the drop and has even said he’d take a fight with training partner and current UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez if he stayed at heavyweight.
My problem with this is that I have watched now two guys get UFC light heavyweight title shots in a row who had not fought in the division for years. Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen both wound up with title shots in cases where legitimate top contenders like Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida sat on the sidelines. Here we go again with a third potential challenger in a row with not even one fight at light heavyweight in his career.
I like Cormier but White has to be kidding himself if he thinks fans are going to buy into Cormier earning a shot at the light heavyweight title because he beat Giant Silva, Josh Barnett, and Frank Mir. Additionally, he was not even that impressive over Mir. The interest for a Jones vs. Cormier fight won’t be where it needs to be without Cormier getting at least 1 impressive win the division first.
The title shot will probably wait for a variety of reasons. The most important being that it appears the UFC is going to move towards a Roy Nelson vs. Daniel Cormier and Jones is hurt. So what happens if Cormier beats Nelson? Does he deserve a crack at Jones then? I just don’t see it.