On December 10th, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and light heavyweight #1 contender Anthony Johnson will step into the Octagon in the main event of UFC 206 in Canada in a highly anticipated light heavyweight rematch for the UFC light heavyweight championship.
The fight, which was announced earlier this month as the co-main event bout, was then shifted to the main event slot when negotiations between former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre & the UFC brass failed, ultimately leading St-Pierre to terminate his contract with the promotion, which he was reportedly able to do due to the fact that the promotion didn’t secure him a fight.
Cormier and Johnson have fought once before, back in 2015, where the pair fought in the main event of UFC 187 for the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship after Jon Jones was pulled from his headlining fight with Anthony Johnson following his hit-and-run incident that saw him stripped of the light heavyweight championship.
Since the fight, Cormier has successfully defended his light heavyweight championship once, narrowly edging out Alexander Gustafsson in a 5-round war at UFC 192. In addition, Cormier recently picked up a unanimous decision win at UFC 200 over Anderson Silva. Cormier was initially supposed to headline the card against Jon Jones, however just 48 hours before the fight, Jones was pulled from the card for a potential USADA anti-doping violation, which resulted in Anderson Silva stepping in on short notice for a non-title fight. Cormier went on to win the fight via unanimous decision in dominant fashion.
Johnson on the other hand has been on a complete tear of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, going 3-0 since the loss, as he has knocked out Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and most recently Glover Teixeira in just 13 seconds at UFC 202 in August.
Following Johnson’s KO win over Teixeira UFC President Dana White revealed that he was eyeing a potential interim light heavyweight title fight between Johnson & Jon Jones given that Jones’ USADA appeal process was reportedly going well, however the UFC opted to book a rematch between Cormier & Johnson instead.
Below you can see the pair’s first staredown photo in Toronto ahead of their highly anticipated rematch.