In the past, Dana White relayed that the UFC is not down with having one fighter retain and defend two titles, but it looks like that policy isn’t in effect for Daniel Cormier.
As you surely know by now, Cormier made history last night at UFC 226, by knocking out Stipe Miocic in the opening round. With the victory, Cormier now holds both the light-heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
The only other fighter to hold two belts concurrently is Conor McGregor, who in 2016, stopped Eddie Alvarez to become the lightweight champ. At the time, McGregor was also the 145 king, but not long after the UFC announced the Irish star had ‘relinquished’ the featherweight belt.
So what’s the plan for Cormier? Well, after last night’s memorable card, White had this to say about Cormier defending two titles (quote via MMA Mania):
”He’s a guy I would let do that,” White said. “I gotta talk to Cormier, we haven’t talked about any of this stuff yet, but we will talk this week about the two belts, what he wants to do. Maybe he defends his light heavyweight belt.”
So does this mean moving forward we could see two-champs defending two belts? Not necessarily.
There’s a couple of things at play here, in terms of timing, which are likely why White’s doing things differently. Brock Lesnar is going to fight for the heavyweight title next (purists feel free to sigh), but since he has to re-enter the USADA testing pool, the pr0-wrestling star can’t compete until January at the earliest. So, as White alluded to, this would give Cormier time, conceivably, to defend the 205 belt in the interim,
Plus, Cormier has repeatedly said that he’s going to retire next March, when he turns 40. So the UFC isn’t looking at a situation where one fighter would be attempting to defend two titles, for a prolonged period of time.
But, Cormier also said at the post-fight presser that a light-heavyweight will need to do something “special”, in order to lock up a fight with him. “DC” noted that Alexander Gustafsson is fighting Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 227 next month, and that if the Swedish star records an emphatic win, a rematch is a possibility (since their 2015 bout was so close – Cormier won via split decision).
The thing is, however, does the UFC really want to run the risk of having Cormier lose? Before the bout with Lesnar takes place? Wouldn’t that take some hype out of the fight?A bout that’s been put together solely to make money, and not due to merit?
Further, what if Cormier gets injured preparing for a 205 title defence? Or in the fight? Would he be willing to push back his retirement date? In other words, once all the madness of UFC 226 dies down a little, don’t be surprised if talk about having Cormier fight again at 205 again goes away, unless, Jon Jones is cleared to compete.