Heavyweight Daniel Cormier joined the UFC earlier this year as the crown jewel of the promotion's Strikeforce roster haul.
He is in his prime. He is undefeated. He is a legitimate threat to win the UFC heavyweight title, and do it today.
The problem is, the UFC heavyweight title current fits the waist of Cain Velasquez, who is a training partner and friend of Cormier. The pair's unwillingness to fight one another paints Cormier into a corner so long as he remains in the weight class, which is something that has fueled speculation about a possible drop to 205.
Speaking at a group media interview (H/T MMA Weekly), Cormier finally committed to making the drop, something he has previously toyed with.
"Before, you know, I've always kind of been, 'when I do, when I do.' Well, the truth of the matter is I am [moving to light heavyweight] now," Cormier explained. "It's no when I do, if I am. It's a matter of getting down there and doing it the correct way."
When questioned about doing it by the end of the year, he answered with an emphatic "Yes."
But even though Cormier wants to make the transition "the correct way" he has no intention of using the latter half of 2013 just to change his body. He wants to fight, and he wants to do it one last time at heavyweight.
"I want to fight because I don't want to sit on the shelf," he exclaimed. "I went through 18 months with one fight after I fought Bigfoot [Silva] and broke my hand. I don’t want to be inactive."
With Junior Dos Santos poised to settle the score with Velasquez, the Brazilian is one high-profile heavyweight who Cormier won't get on the way out of the division, but several intriguing possibilities remain.
The winner of Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic is a possibility, as is the winner of this weekend's showdown between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum. Mark Hunt is another candidate for Cormier's exit fight.
After Cormier's drop, the plan becomes a lot clearer. The end-game is apparently a fight with Jon Jones at 205.
That match is most certainly an interesting one, as Jones continues to walk through the competition native to the 205-pound division. Should Cormier successfully make the drop and challenge Jones, he'd instantly become the biggest threat to the seemingly invulnerable reign of "Bones."
The move is still not a guarantee, especially if Velasquez relinquishes his title before the end of the year. That scenario might cause Cormier to change his mind and instead make a run at heavyweight gold.
But, if all goes to plan, Cormier vs. Jones is something for MMA fans to look forward to in 2014.