Daniel Cormier is no longer the UFC light heavyweight champion.
Daniel Cormier released a statement to ESPN on Friday where he announced his decision to willingly relinquish the light heavyweight championship instead of being stripped at the conclusion of the UFC 232 main event tomorrow night when Jon Jones takes on Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of the evening:
“Today I am going to relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title,” Cormier wrote in the statement to ESPN. “I am not going to be stripped of the belt that I’ve defended with my all for three and a half years. Being stripped of a title suggests you’ve done something wrong, and I haven’t.
“I’d rather walk away this way, with my head held high as it always has been, than have the history books say I was stripped. I’ve defended this title this year. I was approached with the idea of fighting at heavyweight, so I took it. I fought three times in 2018. No champion has been more active than me. I am the fighter of the year. My story and my legacy will not include me being stripped of a title. They can have it.”
Daniel Cormier was reinstated as the light heavyweight champion in the summer of 2017 after Jon Jones tested positive for trace amounts of turinabol following Jones’s initially ruled KO victory over Cormier at UFC 214. Cormier would then successfully defended the championship at UFC 220 against Volkan Oezdemir in January of this year. With Jon Jones now set to make his return to competition tomorrow night at UFC 232, a new champion was going to be crowned at the conclusion of his bout against Alexander Gustafsson, and Daniel Cormier decided to write his own history in how his title reign ended.
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s decision to relinquish the light heavyweight championship rather than getting stripped?