Daniel Cormier confirms he’ll defend light heavyweight title this year, has three opponents in mind

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier, who now owns the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles, is expected to defend his heavyweight belt against monstrous former champion Brock Lesnar sometime early in the new year. As it turns out, however, Cormier plans to defend his light heavyweight title first — before the year is out.

“Yes, I am,” Cormier confirmed in a behind the scenes video on UFC on FOX (via MMA Fighting). “As long as they don’t f*ck up my Lesnar fight.”

When it comes to potential opponents for his next light heavyweight title defense, Cormier seems to have three opponents in mind: Corey Anderson, Ilir Latifi, and Anthony Smith. From the sounds it, he’s up for fighting any one of these men, and he will leave it to them to sort out who’s next.

“When and where, Corey Anderson,” Cormier told his FOX broadcast partner Michael Bisping on the video. “When and where, [Ilir] Latifi. When and where, Anthony Smith. When and where, all of them. All of them at some point this year.”

“Take a piece of steak, put it in the Octagon,” Cormier added. “Whoever wins gets the title fight. Let’s do it like that.”

If you’re wondering why top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson’s name didn’t roll off Cormier’s tongue in this clip, well, this social media post should explain it:

Dear Alex, I don’t know what happened to you going back to the Rockhold situation. You have always been a stand up guy but your behavior changed. From calling a guy out the day after he got knocked out, to now offering to fight me knowing I have a broken hand, after Volkan couldn’t go. Now you’ve turned down Jan, turned down Khalil all while calling for a heavyweight title fight. Now, moments after Anthony Smith does his work like an animal you decide you’re hurt. Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015, but you and I won’t share the octagon again. I am disappointed in who you’ve become. You are so entitled, man, I can’t deal with delusional people. Good luck recovering. Our time has passed. See you from the commentary table. DC @alexthemauler #wegoourseparateways

A post shared by Daniel "DC" Cormier (@dc_mma) on

“Dear Alex, I don’t know what happened to you going back to the Rockhold situation,” Daniel Cormier said in a post that targeted Gustafsson. “You have always been a stand up guy but your behavior changed. From calling a guy out the day after he got knocked out, to now offering to fight me knowing I have a broken hand, after Volkan couldn’t go. Now you’ve turned down Jan, turned down Khalil all while calling for a heavyweight title fight. Now, moments after Anthony Smith does his work like an animal you decide you’re hurt. Man, I respect you as a fighter. I will always be grateful for October 2015, but you and I won’t share the octagon again. I am disappointed in who you’ve become. You are so entitled, man, I can’t deal with delusional people. Good luck recovering. Our time has passed. See you from the commentary table.”

Who do you think should get the next crack at Daniel Cormier’s light heavyweight belt?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/29/2018.