Daniel Cormier is right back in the running for UFC gold. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Daniel Cormier will once again vie for the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title, this time on less than one month’s notice.
UFC officials Tuesday announced that Cormier will replace Jon Jones and face Anthony Johnson in the main event of UFC 187. Cormier and Johnson will battle for the title left vacant after the UFC stripped Jones on Tuesday due to his arrest on a felony hit-and-run charge in Albuquerque, N.M.
The UFC’s announcement did not mention Ryan Bader, whom Cormier was scheduled to face on June 6 at a UFC Fight Night event in New Orleans.
UFC 187 takes place May 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will also feature a long-delayed middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort.
Cormier, 36, suffered the first defeat of his MMA career in January, when he came up on the wrong end of a five-round unanimous decision against Jones at UFC 182. Prior to that loss, the former Olympic freestyle wrestler had compiled a perfect 15-0 mark inside the cage, competing as both a heavyweight and light heavyweight. The American Kickboxing Academy standout owns victories over the likes of Dan Henderson, Frank Mir and Josh Barnett.
Johnson, 31, enters his first UFC title fight on a nine-fight winning streak, with six of those victories coming by way of knockout. The former welterweight is 3-0 since rejoining the UFC one year ago and last saw action on Jan. 24, when he notched a first-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden.