It was long assumed that Daniel Cormier would enter the UFC as a heavyweight title contender after he finishes crushing Dion Staring at the final Strikeforce event on January 12th. (I’m not trying to jinx the dude, but come on, I know a squash match when I see one.) However, now that his training partner Cain Velasquez has reclaimed the heavyweight belt, Cormier’s future in the UFC may take a different path. As Dana White suggested following the post-UFC 155 press conference:
“It’s awesome, he (Cormier) is going to bring a lot of excitement to the heavyweight or light heavyweight division, you know. And he could be next in line to fight (Jon) Jones.”
Velasquez has made it clear that he wouldn’t fight his teammate under any circumstances, which might make light-heavyweight Cormier’s best option in the short term. Hell, the only thing that has kept the undefeated (and rather husky) AKA product from dropping to 205 sooner is because cutting weight crushed his Olympic dreams and nearly killed him that one time. Water under the bridge, right?
As a fantastic wrestler with dynamite punching power, Cormier would present Jon Jones with the same challenges that a guy like Dan Henderson would. But he also shares Hendo’s biggest disadvantage — his physical dimensions. Both Cormier and Henderson stand 5’11″, with 71″ reaches, and could be picked apart by the 6’4″ Jones and his inhuman 84.5″ wingspan.
Personally, I think Cormier stands a better chance of taking Jones’s belt than any UFC light-heavyweight, so as long as he can make the weight without destroying his health, I’d be all for it. Plus, between Vitor Belfort and the upcoming Chael Sonnen fight, Jon Jones has been busy defending his title against natural middleweights; it would be interesting to see him tangle with a challenger entering his division from the other direction.
The only person who’d lose out in this scenario is Dan Henderson, whose knee injury before UFC 151 has effectively removed him from the light-heavyweight title picture, and who has been on Dana White’s pay-no-mind list ever since. Ah well. At least the old guy got jokes.