Daniel Cormier vs. Rafael Cavalcante in the Works for UFC 175 in July

Jeremy Botter@jeremybotterMMA Senior WriterMarch 26, 2014

USA Today

A light heavyweight bout between highly ranked light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante is in the works, but not finalized, for UFC 175. 

Sources close to the bout informed Bleacher Report of the news on Saturday. The shakeup to UFC 173 started a whirlwind of rumors about Cormier fighting Dan Henderson on the card, but Cormier told Bleacher Report on Wednesday that he will not be ready to fight by that date. 

The event takes place July 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. It is currently unknown where the fight will fall on the pay-per-view card. The event is headlined by a middleweight title match between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida that was originally scheduled for UFC 173 but has since been postponed due to a minor knee injury suffered by Weidman. 

Cormier, No. 5 in the division, made his light heavyweight debut by quickly dispatching newcomer Patrick Cummins at UFC 171. Many expected him to face a top-ranked contender in his next fight, perhaps even the winner of the UFC 172 bout between Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson. But that's not the case, as Cormier will likely face the 14th-ranked Cavalcante. Cormier is continuing his pursuit of a title shot, but he's behind Alexander Gustafsson, who faces the winner of UFC 172's main event between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. 

Cavalcante's last entrance into the Octagon came in November, when he beat the durable Igor Pokrajac in the first round. He is currently 1-1 in the UFC, with his loss coming at the hands of Thiago Silva. Cavalcante's biggest career win would likely be his 2010 capture of the Strikeforce light heavyweight title with a win over Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. 

UFC 175 is one of the cornerstone events of the UFC's International Fight Week, which also features The Ultimate Fighter finale, capped off with a main event between Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn.