UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has fought just once this year, but has otherwise not defended his title since his dramatic split decision win over Alexander Gustafsson. This wasn’t by design, of course, as Cormier pulled out of his UFC 197 rematch with Jon Jones with an injury, and then Jones was removed just days out from UFC 200 after he’d failed his out-of-competition USADA test.
With Jones potentially looking at a reduced suspension (as opposed to a two-year ban), UFC president Dana White has been mulling the possibility of Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson, especially with Rumble having violently KO’d Glover Teixeira in under 15 seconds. Jones is still the interim champion, and there’s been no move made to strip him, so presumably this would be an interim title defense for Jones. This does not sit well with Cormier, and he voiced his displeasure on Brian Stann’s Toe-2-Toe show on SiriusXM Rush. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
"Now one thing I completely disagree with, completely - and I don't care who hears it - why in the hell would Jon still be the interim champion? That makes no sense. That makes absolutely no sense. They should not be fighting for an interim championship. That makes no sense at all. I don't even know why he would still be the interim champion. His ass was disqualified. Take that freakin' belt off of him. That's stupid.
"I hope to God Dana misspoke, because that makes absolutely no sense. They aren't fighting for some interim title if they fight. They can fight in the main event because it's a big fight but it's a fun fight. If they fight, they fight to determine the number one contender it's not some interim championship fight. That makes no sense at all... You'd have an interim champion defending the interim championship while the actual champion is actually still there. That makes no sense whatsoever."
As for a target date for Cormier’s return, it looks as if UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden is out of the question.
"At this point [that]'s not being discussed. Honestly, that window is gone for me. I need like 10 to 12 weeks because I enjoy my time away from the Octagon. I hang with my family, we go on vacation, we do fun things and I tend to eat quite a bit when I'm on vacation...So that time for me is gone. I couldn't compete to the best of my ability in New York. I wouldn't be comfortable taking a fight there."