Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Despite White’s push for a Cormier title shot upon entry into the lighter division, the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion rejected this notion and stated that he wished to advance his career by beating a named opponent first. On UFC Tonight, Cormier stated:
My first fight at 205, I’d like it to not be for the belt, and I would like a very high level guy. I’m thinking about both weight divisions. I’ve been watching the rankings. I want to fight someone that actually advances my career. Big fights is (sic) what I’m interested in, whether it be at heavyweight, whether it be at 205, it doesn’t matter.
If Cormier wasn’t granted an immediate title shot upon entry to the 205-pound division, he could feasibly face a perennial championship contender in Evans, who just picked up a much-needed win at UFC 161, or the significantly hyped competitor that is Glover Teixeira.
Evans is coming off a lackluster, split-decision win over MMA veteran Dan Henderson. A win over a highly touted Cormier would more than likely grant him a title shot. A matchup of this caliber is, in all probability, what the former light heavyweight champion needs to completely recharge his career.
For Cormier, a win over a game opponent in Evans would solidify his place among the best of the 205-pound division.
Despite not having fought nor beaten any one of the UFC’s current top 10 light heavyweight contenders, Teixeira is listed as the No. 3 light heavyweight contender. A win over Cormier would legitimize the Brazilian’s standing and knock off a potential championship contender. A Cormier win over Teixeira would not only put his new division on notice, it would derail Teixeira’s title shot hopes—at least for the moment.