UFC: Daniel Cormier Reinstated As Light Heavyweight Champion

Daniel Cormier MMA GOAT
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

DC’s back, baby! One could be forgiven for imagining that light heavyweight Daniel Cormier is pretty happy right now. That’s because there’s no longer a need to use the word “former” in conjunction with “champion” when referring to the fighter. Following Wednesday’s decision by the CSAC (California State Athletic Commission) to change the result of UFC 214’s main event fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier to a No Contest, the UFC has opted to reinstate Cormier as champion.

That’s great news for Cormier, and not exactly surprising. The decorated wrestler and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion announced the news on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight.

“Dana White called me today and he said if it’s a no contest then the fight didn’t happen,” Cormier explained on the show. “He says, ‘if one of you guys would’ve missed weight, and he would’ve won the fight, you still would’ve kept the belt.’”

According to Cormier, White added that “‘because of that, the championship is getting returned to you. The fight is a no contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight.’ So once again, I’m the UFC champion.”

He also took aim at those who might criticize him having the title handled back, pointing out that Jones, knowingly or not, cheated. He then added the following:

He disqualified himself for taking a steroid before the fight, so it didn’t happen. So now I get the belt back, which is the right thing to do. And I’m not only saying that because it’s me. It’s the right thing to do. You don’t cheat the sport, you don’t cheat the fans, you don’t cheat me. You have all the physical advantages, sir. You’re 30 years old, you’re 6-4, you’ve got an 85-inch reach. I’m 38 years old. I would love to take stuff and not have to wake up every morning and walk down my stairs sideways.

While not unexpected, it seems things have moved at a lightening fast pace in the last twenty-four hours or so. Yesterday, Jones’ B Sample was announced as having tested positive for the steroid Turinabol. That confirmed the original positive test from a sample taken following the UFC 214 weigh-ins back in July. Jones won the fight that night, but the result was changed earlier today to a No Contest as a result of the positive test.

Jones, as a repeat offender having failed a drug test prior to UFC 200 (for which he received a one-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency), is looking at up to four years away from the sport thanks to this most recent infraction. As UFC 214 took place in California, they hold jurisdiction, but Jones will also be dealing with USADA once again. In short, things aren’t looking good for the now former champion, who has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title three times in his career, including losing the interim title after the UFC 200 debacle.

In regards to the title reverting back to Cormier, the UFC released the following statement:

“UFC was informed Wednesday that the result of the UFC 214 bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier on July 29 was overturned by the California State Athletic Commission. The ruling changes the Jones ‘win’ to a ‘no contest’ following a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected after Jones’ weigh-in on July 28, 2017.

As this was a title bout, Cormier will be reinstated as UFC light heavyweight champion.”