Back in July, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier stepped up to the heavyweight division to battle reigning champion Stipe Miocic in an effort to become a two-division champion. Cormier succeeded on this mission, knocking Miocic out in the very first round.
From there, Daniel Cormier was vocal about his hopes to defend both his light heavyweight and heavyweight belts. The plan, he said, was to drop back down to defend the light heavyweight title, and then defend his heavyweight title against Brock Lesnar. All of this before his planned retirement in March of 2019.
As is so often the case in the turbulent world of MMA however, things did not go as planned. Cormier has yet to defend his light heavyweight title again, and instead of defending his heavyweight title against Lesnar, he’s booked to defend it against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 this weekend.
Furthermore, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson have been booked for a UFC 232 fight that will apparently crown the new UFC light heavyweight champion, implying that Cormier will soon be stripped of that title.
From the looks of it, it’s already happened.
UFC.com, the official UFC website, no longer lists Daniel Cormier as the light heavyweight champion on its Fighters page. Instead, the slot for the light heavyweight champion is occupied by a faceless silhouette and the word “To be determined…”
While Daniel Cormier is still listed as the light heavyweight champion in the UFC rankings, these rankings have not been updated since shortly after UFC 229 earlier this month. Volkan Oezdemir, after all, is still ranked ahead of the man he lost to at UFC Moncton last weekend, Anthony Smith. When the rankings are updated, they might well reflect the fact that Cormier has been stripped.
At the time of this writing, Daniel Cormier has not commented on this situation. Yet while it certainly appears the UFC has already put an end to his light heavyweight title reign, he said as recently as last weekend that he still plans to defend the light heavyweight belt.
“I don’t care about Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson,” Daniel Cormier said in a recent UFC promo. “Trust me when I say this, I will be back to defend my light heavyweight championship.”
Needless to say, things could soon get a little sticky between Daniel Cormier and the UFC, as both parties seem to have very different opinions on the status of the UFC light heavyweight title.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/31/2018.