In a few short weeks, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will attempt to defend his title against destructive challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. If all goes Cormier’s way, he’ll then attempt to defend his title against Jon Jones, a troubled former champion and his biggest rival. Beyond bouts with Rumble and Jones, however, it’s hard to say who might next contend for the UFC light heavyweight crown. This, unsurprisingly, is something Cormier has considered.
On a recent episode of MMAJunkie Radio, Cormier discussed the top-heavy nature of the light heavyweight division, and outlined his immediate plans as champion.
“It’s a very top-heavy division,” Cormier said. “You have Anthony and myself and Jones when he gets back [from suspension] and Gustafsson, but I just don’t know if the rest of those guys can actually compete. For me, it’s not even about those guys. I’ve got my next three fights mapped out: I’ve got to fight Anthony Johnson, I’ve got to fight and beat Jon Jones and then I have to fight and beat Jon Jones again. Then I will have accomplished everything I could have ever accomplished in the sport of mixed martial arts.”
Outside of Cormier, Jones, Rumble and Gustafsson, the most compelling contender in the division is probably Canada’s Misha Cirkunov. Apparently, however, Cormier hasn’t given Cirkunov too much thought, as he believes he’ll be near retirement by the time the Canadian is ready to challenge for the title.
“I don’t really have to worry too much about Cirkunov, because by the time Cirkunov is ready to fight for a championship my journey may be complete,” he said. “I’m not too worried about those young guys. That’s going to be for the guys that are in their mid-20s and early 30s to worry about. I’m 37, going to be 38 [on] March , so I know what I’m doing.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s assessment of the light heavyweight title picture? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/15/2017.