One UFC Champion has his next contender lined up.
That fighter is UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who has had a rollercoaster of a ride as of late in his pro-MMA (mixed martial arts) career. Due to a failed drug test, Jon Jones has been provisionally suspended by USADA pending a full investigation by the CAC (California Athletic Commission).
Jones defeated Cormier by third-round TKO in the main event of UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, California to regain the title. The event aired on PPV (pay-per-view). The UFC gave the title back to Cormier as a result of Jones’ failed drug test.
There will not be a rematch between Jones and Cormier despite the fact that their rivalry dates back nearly three years. They first went to battle back at UFC 182 in January of 2015. As seen in that fight, Jones won via unanimous decision. He then, however, failed a drug test for cocaine metabolites. A few months later, he was involved in a hit-and-run accident, stripped of his title, and suspended by the UFC. This is when things started going down south for Jones.
The UFC attempted to rematch “DC” and Jones at UFC 200 in July 2016. However, that bout never happened due to Jones being forced to withdraw from the bout just days prior after it was revealed that he had failed a drug test for multiple banned substances.
Now that he has been reinstated as champion, Cormier had no concrete plans about whom he intends to face next. This led to him taking it to the people and let fans decide via social media.
In a recent tweet he posted, Cormier noted that the verdict went to rising 205-pound star Volkan Oezdemir. He wrote the following on his official Twitter account on Thursday, September 28th, 2017:
“@volkan_oezdemir I asked, and people wanna see u, and I scrap. So you got it, man! Let me figure a date now. They chose u bud! Congrats.”
Oezdemir (15-1, 3-0 UFC), who is 28-years-old, made his debut in February where he won against Ovince Saint Preux via split decision. Following this win, his stock value has increased a bit more, but it skyrocketed when he scored a first-round knockout win against Jimi Manuwa in the undercard of Jones and Cormier’s fight. He also got the Performance of the Night honors that merited a $50,000 bonus.
It’s an interesting move by the UFC. Although DC wanted this bout, there were many fans who were also arguing that number one-ranked light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson is the more deserving challenger. If you recall, the two fighters already faced each other at UFC 192 in 2015, where Cormier won via split decision.