Daniel Cormier is under consideration to fight former Strikeforce stablemate, Rafael Cavalcante, at UFC 175, which will take place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5, 2014. Would a win over the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion be enough to earn "DC" a 205-pound UFC title shot?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pretty much has its Light Heavyweight title picture set in stone.
With that in mind, the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion is considering another pivotal match that would sharpen the 205-pound focus, pitting former Strikeforce standouts, Daniel Cormier and Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, at UFC 175.
The possible booking, which would be featured on pay-per-view (PPV) live from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5, 2014, comes courtesy of a report earlier this evening on "UFC Tonight."
Division champion Jon Jones is set to defend his world title against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 from Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md., on April 26, 2014 (details). This will be Jones' seventh title defense after coming off a razor close decision win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 last year in Toronto, Canada.
The UFC 165 bout was considered to be one of the best fights of 2013 and many who watched demanded to see the two light heavyweights do it again.
While an immediate rematch wasn't booked, one is expected to to happen next should Jones successfully defend his belt against Teixeira. Gustafsson defeated Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37 to secure his second chance at capturing UFC gold.
Unless, of course, "Bones" continues to duck "The Mauler."
That leaves Cormier, for all intents and purposes, standing on the outside looking in.
The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner was expected to run roughshod over UFC's heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. After all, he has world class wrestling and power in both hands to give his opponents fits.
Instead, his UFC career has been mildly disappointing, if only because of the high expectations. Currently undefeated (3-0) in the promotion and coming off his first finish at light heavyweight against the unknown Patrick Cummins, Cormier needs another win or two before he's considered a true title contender.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is currently even (1-1) in the promotion (12-4 overall) and will present an interesting match up for the Olympian. A Muay Thai specialist with exceptional submission skills, it's very possible for the Brazilian to pull off the upset.
While the bout will likely be criticized from a rankings perspective, it does make sense.
Cormier (14-0) is coming off an easy win and hasn't quite fought the best of the best in the light heavyweight division. "Feijao" -- who owns 11 (technical) knockout finishes in 12 wins -- will push the action and make "DC" work for his win.
With a possible title shot lying in wait, it would be now or never for Cormier to impress.
UFC 175 will feature a main event between Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, defending his 185-pound title against former Light Heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. It was a match that was originally scheduled for UFC 173; however, Weidman has to undergo minor knee surgery, forcing the title fight to be postponed until Fourth of July weekend.