There have been rumblings for a week, but it is now official; Daniel Cormier will make his light heavyweight debut opposite former light heavyweight Rashad Evans. The announcement was made by Evans himself on the UFC Fight Night 33 Prefight Show on Fox Sports 2.
The UFC also plugged it on its Twitter account:
UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) December 6, 2013
Evans is a once-elite fighter who fell on hard times following a loss to current champion and at-the-time bitter rival Jon Jones. He followed that up with an ugly, painful decision loss to aged striker Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in what was supposed to be a squash match. He has rebounded since, however, taking a split-decision win over Dan Henderson and following that up with an impressive TKO over Chael Sonnen.
Cormier, meanwhile, is widely regarded as the third-best heavyweight in MMA, behind only champion, friend and teammate Cain Velasquez, and former champion Junior dos Santos. His Olympic-caliber wrestling has earned him victories over numerous top heavyweights including Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva. However, he refuses to face Velasquez in the cage and as such, is taking his talents to the light heavyweight division in hopes of a shot at gold.
UFC 170 will take place on February 22, 2014. The bout is expected to be a five-round main event. Thus far, no other fights have been announced for the card.
The bout has profound title implications. Cormier was widely regarded as the next in line to face Jon Jones before fans began calling for a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson. Evans, meanwhile, has begun stringing together wins and, should he beat Cormier, would arguably be the next in line for a shot at the belt.
Stick with Bleacher Report for more UFC 170 details as they become available.