Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier says that he is not ducking Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for a UFC 205 showdown in New York. Rumors are swirling that Cormier has some non-fighting commitment that is why he tells Johnson to prepare by Dec. for UFC 207 instead.
According to Fox Sports Cormier will be working with fellow champ Dominick Cruz as analysts in the coming UFC Fight Night 96. The two champions will join Jon Anik in giving their thoughts on the main event. It will feature John Dodson takes on John Lineker in the Bantamweight division.
“I don’t control the fights,” Cormier said. “I show up when they tell me. We can fight, but it’s not in November.’ I’ve got this play-by-play gig and other things to do before I start training. You can ask anybody — when I start training, there’s no more ‘UFC Tonight.’ I want 10, 12 weeks to feel confident about a fight.”
UFC Fight Night 96 will be held on Oct. 1 in Portland, Oregon, and will air live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).
Johnson has told MMA Fighting that he would want a shot at the title on Nov. 12 at UFC 205 at the Madison Square Garden. But with the commitment Cormier has, the champ has already agreed to fight him, but it will take place at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.
UFC president Dana White has yet to announce about who will headline the much-awaited return of the UFC in the Big Apple. But Bloodyelbow reports that Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will defend his title against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Other confirmed fights cards for the night includes Edgar vs. Stephens, Cerrone vs. Gastelum, Tim Boetsch vs. Rafael Natal, Katlyn Chookagian vs. Liz Carmouche, and Rashad Evans’ debut at 185-pounds as he takes on Tim Kennedy.
White will formally announce the complete fight card at a press conference on Sept. 27 thus killing the idea for Johnson to appear on fight night. White has already stated that he plans Johnson to take on Jon Jones first with the winner to challenge Cormier.
Johnson has an ax to grind with Jones as they were to meet at UFC 187 but Jones pulled out due to his felony case. Jones was then stripped of his title with Cormier taking his place. Cormier would end beating Johnson to win the vacated title.
Cormier explains that he is not ducking Johnson instead he wants him to enjoy life first before they tangle anew before the end of the year. But that is if White would agree to bill them for UFC 207 unless Jones does not get the green light from USADA to fight again.
Photo Courtesy: Daniel Cormier @dc_mma/Twitter