If Glover Teixeira was watching UFC president Dana White’s recent Google Hangout his may eyebrows may have raised when White said that current top ten heavyweight Daniel Cormier may be the fighter that gets the next shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.
After Teixeira defeated Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 28, Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development said at the post-fight press conference, “Yeah, it’s confirmed. Dana [White]’s confirmed it. Joe [Silva]’s confirmed. Glover gets the next shot.”
Cormier’s next fight will take place at the heavyweight limit. That bout, against Roy Nelson will take place as the co-main event of UFC 166. Cormier’s plans are to drop to light heavyweight after that bout.
On Thursday, White was asked if Cormier defeats Nelson and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones gets past Alexander Gustafsson in the main event at UFC 165, will Cormier and Jones be the fight to make. White answered, “Yeah, probably, Yep.”
The response was interesting and somewhat surprising considering that less than two weeks prior, Teixeira had effectively been promised that same fight.
Teixeira is currently the No. 2 ranked fighter in the light heavyweight division. The problem for him is that he has not faced a top-ten opponent during his 5-0 run through the UFC.
Cormier, unranked at light heavyweight since he has never fought there, is No. 2 at heavyweight. Cormier’s sole UFC fight was against top-ten ranked Frank Mir. Prior to that he bested Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett in Strikeforce, both of whom are also in the UFC top ten.
When you figure in name recognition and the developing conflict between Jones and Cormier, the Jones versus Cormier fight may be the one to make.
We’ll find out soon enough, which direction the UFC decides to go in. UFC 165 will take place on September 21 while UFC 166 is booked for October 19.
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