Daniel Cormier isn’t giving up his light heavyweight title without a fight.
The reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight champion has insisted since become only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time that he wants to hold onto both of them until he retires next year.
While previous ‘double champ’ Conor McGregor saw one of his belts stripped away just a month after he became a two-division title holder, Cormier is doing everything in his power to ensure he holds onto his.
While a mega-payday awaits Cormier in 2019 with a heavyweight title fight against former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar already expected, he insists that he will return to defend his 205-pound title when the time is right.
“For me to go back down is going to be difficult to defend this belt but I plan on doing it,” Cormier told “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on Monday.
While Cormier stands by his promise that he’s going to return to light heavyweight, some of the other contenders in the division have scoffed as his proclamation.
Recent light heavyweight import Anthony Smith has balked at the idea that Cormier will ever return to the division, especially considering the money he will make for fighting Lesnar next year.
Still, Cormier says he’s willing and able to defend his 205-pound title even if that means a massive weight cut to get back down to light heavyweight again.
“Honestly, I am a heavyweight,” Cormier said. “I weigh 245 pounds normally but then I cut down to 205 whenever I fight at 205. So I lose 40 pounds to fight in that weight class.”
Perhaps the bigger hindrance to Cormier competing at light heavyweight right now is that he’s still nursing a broken right hand that was used to knock out Stipe Miocic to win the heavyweight strap back in July.
Considering Cormier’s current health, it’s tough to imagine the UFC will book him for any fight in the near future until his hand is ready to go.
Meanwhile, Lesnar will be cleared to return to action in early 2019 so it’s entirely possible the promotion will just wait to put Cormier back into the Octagon until he can prepare for that showdown next year.