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10th Jul 2018

Daniel Cormier receives absolutely tantalising title fight offer

If the MMA Gods exist, this fight will happen

Ben Kiely

As the UFC’s only active champ champ, Daniel Cormier has a large target on his back

A lot of people want a piece of Daniel Cormier after he won the heavyweight strap at UFC 226. He now has contenders from the two heaviest weight classes in the promotion lining up for their shot at one of his belts.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is top of the queue after his remarkably corny display after DC’s knockout of Stipe Miocic. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Cormier will emphatically beat the WWE superstar when they finally clash, but Lesnar’s star power cannot be ignored. It should be a very lucrative night for Cormier before he hangs up his gloves for good in March of next year.

Top contenders Alexander Gustafsson and Volkan Oezdemir have an outside chance of challenging for the 205 lb strap, but neither man is at the front of that queue. Surprisingly, former Pride and UFC champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua has found himself ahead in the pecking order.

An intriguing proposal

If a squash match between Cormier and Shogun doesn’t tickle your fancy, you could be in luck. MMA manager Malki Kawa made an interesting suggestion for DC’s next light heavyweight title defence on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show. He put his client Yoel Romero forward as a potential opponent for DC.

“I was looking at his record and looking at some of the guys he beat, I don’t know what the fans might think about a Yoel Romero vs Daniel Cormier fight for the (205 lb) belt since Daniel wants a big fight. I think that could be the biggest fight they could make.”

Two-time middleweight title challenger Romero is plotting a move up to 205 lbs after missing weight in his last two light heavyweight bouts. He actually accepted a fight against Alexander Gustafsson, but their timelines just didn’t sync up. ‘The Mauler’ wanted to fight in August, but Romero needed more time to have an orbital injury checked out.

This would be an interesting fight for a few reasons. Firstly, both competitors would have a combined age of 80. That’s outrageous considering they’re both in the primes of their respective fighting careers. Secondly, Romero is also an Olympic wrestler. While Cormier came fourth in 2004 and had to withdraw from the 2008 games due to kidney failure, Romero won a silver medal in 2000.

Thirdly, this is what Romero did to Cormier’s training partner and close friend, Luke Rockhold.

Another interim belt?

Kawa confirmed that Romero has been cleared to return to light training on Friday and will be able to resume full contact sparring in a few weeks. He believes ‘the Soldier of God’ would be able to return to the Octagon as early as October.

“Who knows? There’s a lot of scenarios that could work out. If Gustafsson wins and DC’s not ready to fight, maybe (Romero) fights Gustafsson for an interim belt. Maybe (Cormier) vacates and it’s for the real belt. Maybe (Romero) fights DC. Who knows?”

Normally we’re opposed to interim belts, but if Cormier isn’t going to defend the strap, this would make a lot of sense. Light heavyweight needs fresh blood and while Romero’s a middle-aged man, he could breathe some new life into one of the shallowest weight classes in the UFC.