Daniel Cormier Wants Top Contender or Title Shot in His Next Fight

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterFebruary 26, 2014

Daniel Cormier, right, reacts as the referee stops his UFC 170 mixed martial arts light heavyweight fight against Patrick Cummins on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Coming off his blowout win over Patrick Cummins at UFC 170, Daniel Cormier is looking for a big step up in the UFC's light heavyweight division.

Cormier told UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that he either wants a No. 1 contender's fight or, if things work out, a title shot at the winner of the UFC 172 main event between Jon Jones and Glover Teixiera.

Sep 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Jon Jones congratulates Alexander Gustafsson (left) after Jones' victory in their light heavyweight championship bout at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

His immediate future hinges on the March 8 bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa. If Gustafsson wins, the UFC will likely pair him with Jones in a rematch of their UFC 165 bout in September, as long as Jones beat Teixiera in April. Jones won that bout by unanimous decision, but the fight was agonizingly close, and many felt Gustafsson did enough to wrest the title from Jones.

Instead of being granted an immediate rematch, however, he must first defeat the unheralded yet dangerous Manuwa. If he prevails, the Swede is almost assuredly guaranteed a shot at the Jones vs. Teixeira winner.

But if Manuwa scores the upset, Cormier would be in the driver's seat for the title shot.

Cormier told UFC Tonight that he's fine with a Jones vs. Gustafsson rematch. If that scenario plays out, he said he'd like to face the winner of the UFC 172 bout between Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson.

While a win over Cummins may not ultimately earn him a championship opportunity, there is very little question that a win over Davis or Johnson would make Cormier the unquestioned No. 1 contender for the light heavyweight title.