If Daniel Cormier (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) defeats fellow heavyweight Roy Nelson (19-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in UFC 166's co-main event, he’s planning to ask for a title shot at light heavyweight.
Cormier, who confirmed the plans with FUEL TV’s Ariel Helwani on “UFC Tonight,” will ask to “cut the line” to get an immediate shot at the 205-pound belt.
UFC 166, which takes place Oct. 19 at Houston’s Toyota Center, marks Cormier’s final fight at heavyweight, a division in which he won a Strikeforce world grand prix before topping ex-champ Frank Mir in his UFC debut earlier this year.
Cormier has long discussed his planned move down to light heavyweight, and he started a gradual weight cut even before the bout with Mir, which marked the two-time Olympian’s 12th consecutive MMA win. It also moved him to No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA heavyweight rankings (as well as No. 15 in the pound-for-pound rankings).
As he previously told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Cormier has his reasons for the slow and methodical approach to the weight cut. If he can comfortably get down to 220 pounds and make that his walking-around weight, he shouldn’t have trouble competing at light heavyweight, he said. After kidney issues caused by weight-cutting cut short his Olympic wrestling career, Cormier vowed he wouldn’t rush the process.
A shot at the light-heavyweight belt, which would allow Cormier to avoid a fight with reigning UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, could come against either champ Jon Jones or challenger Alexander Gustafsson, who meet in September’s UFC 165 headliner.
For the latest on UFC 166, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.