Daniel Cormier is no longer the UFC light heavyweight champion
Daniel Cormier has relinquished his light heavyweight belt.
The 205-pound champion told ESPN on Friday that he has come to a decision to give up the title rather than have it stripped from him, which, in his words, would suggest he had done something wrong.
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson fight at UFC 232 on Saturday night and Cormier would rather walk away than have it taken from him.
He hasn't fought in the division since his defence of the belt in January after it was returned to him in 2017 when Jon Jones failed a drug test. He beat Volkan Oezdemir that night and since went to heavyweight to win the title in the summer before defending it in November. Meanwhile, the light heavyweight championship has not had a champion to defend the title.
So the UFC have intervened.
Breaking: @dc_mma has relinquished the UFC light heavyweight title.
“... Being stripped of a title suggest you’ve done something wrong, and I haven’t. I’d rather walk away this way. ... They can have it.” https://t.co/ItxXrV0wyY
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 28, 2018
Writing to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, he confirmed the news.
"Today I am going to relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title. I am not going to be stripped of the belt that I've defended with my all for three and a half years.
"I'd rather walk away this way, with my head held high as it always has been, than have the history books say I was stripped. I've defended this title this year. I was approached with the idea of fighting at heavyweight, so I took it."
Cormier has fought three times in 2018, in two different divisions. He's been an active champion and he has defended the light heavyweight belt in this calendar year.