Daniel Cormier is finally set to return to the octagon in April, when he will face Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 210 for the light-heavyweight title.
The pair were due to do battle last month at UFC 206 in Toronto but Cormier was forced to withdraw due to a groin injury. The cancellation of the highly anticipated headline event saw the hastily scheduled interim featherweight title clash between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis.
Many would say that Cormier’s withdrawal was the trigger for UFC president Dana White to strip Conor McGregor of his featherweight title in order to make the new headline bout for the floundering Toronto event.
Now with a new date set for the Cormier v Johnson fight, disappointed fans can once again look forward to the highly anticipated meeting of these two big men.
Following the announcement and reported by MMA Fighting, Cormier spoke of how he wanted to make it up to his fans,
“I want to let the great fans that bought tickets for UFC 206 in Toronto that this one is for you.
“Ninety-nine miles is as close as I could get to make it up to you. That was very important to me. Thank you for the support, and I’ll see you in Buffalo.”
This will be second time that Cormier has faced ‘Rumble’, having last met in May 2015 at UFC 187. Since his defeat to Cormier on that occasion, Johnson has gone on a rampaging three-fight winning streak, including a 13-second destruction of Glover Teixeira at UFC 202 last August.
When the two face off in April, it will have been eight months since Johnson last stepped into the octagon and ten months for the champion.
Many fans complaining about the speed at which the UFC created the soon-to-be-contested interim lightweight title in the wake of Conor McGregor’s ten month hiatus from the sport.
That Cormier, the champion, will have been away for a similar time to that planned by McGregor and the fact that he has only fought once since October of 2015 due to injuries and the personal troubles of long time foe Jon Jones, would certainly lend weight to fans’ grumblings.
All eyes will now be on the champion, with fans and White likely crossing the fingers and hoping that Cormier can finally make it back to the octagon to defend his now dusty title belt.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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