It's been quite the week for the UFC.
A wild week for the UFC just got crazier with the announcement that Daniel Cormier will be giving up his UFC light heavyweight title, according to a special report from ESPN. This means the winner of Saturday light heavyweight bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will not be battling Cormier for the title.
"Today I am going to relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title," Cormier said. "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."
It's been a tumultuous week for the UFC leading up to the Jones vs. Gustafsson fight. Jones tested positive for the same drug that stripped him of the title he won against Cormier back in 2017. This forced the UFC to move the fight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
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Cormier has stated in the past that he plans to retire from fighting in March when he turns 40 and that he does not want to fight Jones for a third time, according to Ariel Helwani of ESPN.
In his statement to ESPN, Cormier also said:
"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."
Cormier's decision will surely make things interesting come Saturday when Jones and Gustafsson finally have their rematch.