Daniel Cormier, if by the skin of his teeth, made his 205-pound debut at UFC 170 in February, but now he is sitting on the sidelines, patiently awaiting his next opponent.
Cormier had been slated to face friend and former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans at UFC 170, but a last-minute injury forced Evans out of the bout. The fight was initially going to be scrapped altogether, but little-known Patrick Cummins stepped in to keep Cormier divisional debut on tap.
Successful in that debut, finishing Cummins in little more than a minute, Cormier is itching to get back in the Octagon.
Cormier wants a title shot as soon as possible, but Alexander Gustafsson’s recent victory over Jimi Manuwa propelled him into the No. 1 contender’s spot, leaving Cormier to wait and see what’s next.
“The Glover Teixeira fight has to happen. Alexander Gustafsson is next in line,” said UFC president Dana White on Thursday when asked about the light heavyweight division.
With Gustafsson guaranteed the winner of the April 26 fight between current champion Jon Jones and challenger Glover Teixeira, and nearly every other top fighter in the division already booked, Cormier is on an island waiting for a ship to come to shore.
“No, no, he’d have to fight again. I’m sure he’d want to fight again too,” said White when asked if he was okay with Cormier waiting close to a year for the title picture to clear and then have Cormier step in once Gustafsson’s shot plays out.
Even if all fights went smoothly and without injury, it would probably be in the neighborhood of nine months or so before Jones vs. Teixeira takes place and then Gustafsson fights the winner.
And at 34 years of age, Cormier isn’t at a point in his career where he’d want to be out of action for that long. The only problem is, who is next for him, even if it isn’t a title shot?
“Everybody is tied up right now too,” said White. “If you look at the light heavyweight division, everybody has a fight that would fight Daniel Cormier.”
For now, Cormier will have to wait on the sidelines, waiting for the smoke to clear.