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'They can have it': Daniel Cormier relinquishes light heavyweight title ahead of Jones-Gustafsson 2

The champ-champ is no more following his statement to Ariel Helwani on Friday.

Daniel Cormier with the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles after his victory over Derrick Lewis in November.
Daniel Cormier with the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles after his victory over Derrick Lewis in November.
Image: Jason Silva

DANIEL CORMIER IS no longer the UFC’s light heavyweight champion after relinquishing his strap ahead of Jon Jones’ rematch with Alexander Gustafsson in LA on Saturday night.

Cormier, the first man to defend both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles, said today that he would not wait to be stripped of his belt, which UFC 232 headliners Jones and Gustafsson will be contesting.

The 39-year-old would have been stripped as soon as the card’s main event began in Inglewood this weekend.

“Today I am going to relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title,” Cormier told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in an exclusive statement.

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.”

Martial Arts 2018: UFC 230 Daniel Cormier beat Stipe Miocic to become heavyweight champion in July. Source: Jason Silva

The wrestler became heavyweight champion earlier this year when he knocked out the highly favoured Stipe Miocic in the first round of their UFC 226 main event.

Cormier became only the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously – the first being Ireland’s Conor McGregor who won both the featherweight and lightweight titles.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne look back on a memorable year for Irish rugby.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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