After claiming another light heavyweight victim, Daniel Cormier’s focus now lies entirely on winning UFC gold and upending Jon Jones’ record-setting title reign.
“DC” looked every bit the superhero at UFC 173 on Saturday night, as he tossed around MMA legend Dan Henderson like a ragdoll in a playpen. After nullifying the “H-Bomb,” Cormier rendered Henderson unconscious with a rear-naked choke in the third round to improve to 15-0.
“Jon Jones, you can’t run away from me forever,” Cormier said in his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “…No matter where you go, boy, I’m coming. You better hurry, because I’m getting better. I know that nobody can wrestle me. If I decide to take Jon Jones down 100 times, I’ll take him down 100 times.”
MMAFighting.com reported that Cormier was still fired up after leaving the Octagon. During his post-fight appearance on Fox Sports 1, the former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion continued to call out Jones in an attempt to goad him into a title fight.
UFC President Dana White confirmed during the post-fight press conference that Cormier was the next man in line behind Alexander Gustafsson for a title shot. However, White admitted he wasn’t a fan of fighters waiting around to fight the champion.
There is always the chance of an injury throwing a monkey wrench into plans and extending the top contender’s stay on the sidelines. While Cormier has certainly proven himself worthy of a crack at the UFC title, it wouldn’t hurt to cement a top spot in the light heavyweight division by defeating a top-five opponent.
Ariel Helwani tweeted about some “friendly tension” between Cormier and former light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans on the Fox post-fight show.
The UFC could opt to do a title eliminator bout between Evans and Cormier. Evans is currently ranked ahead of Cormier in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings, and he is also coming off back-to-back wins. The two light heavyweights were slated to fight back in February at UFC 170, but a knee injury forced Evans to pull out of the fight.
At the post-fight presser, Cormier claimed that his ultimate goal is to take the title from Jones, but he also has no qualms with taking another fight if the situation calls for it.
“I’m not saying I’m opposed to fighting. I’m just saying that after four years of what I’ve accomplished, I think I deserve a title shot,” said Cormier. “We’re going to talk, and if they come up with something good, I’ll fight. I’m not afraid of anybody. I can beat every one of these guys, so I’ll fight them all.”
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.