Daniel Cormier relinquishes his light-heavyweight title ahead of UFC 232

DANIEL CORMIER has relinquished his UFC light-heavyweight title ahead of Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson.

Jones and Gustafsson are set to challenge for the UFC light-heavyweight title on Saturday in California in a rematch of their 2013 classic.

 Cormier is still currently the heavyweight champion

AP:Associated Press
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Cormier is still currently the heavyweight champion

Cormier, who has reigned champion at 205lbs since 2015, would not be stripped until the first bell for Jones vs Gustafsson rang.

However, Cormier has decided to hand over the title on his own accord as he told ESPN being stripped signals a personal wrongdoing.

Cormier said: "Today I am going to relinquish the UFC light heavyweight title.

"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.

 Jones have fought Cormier twice

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Jones have fought Cormier twice
 Cormier beat Gustafsson in 2015

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Cormier beat Gustafsson in 2015

"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, who was voted ESPN’s Fighter of The Year, is the current UFC heavyweight champion.

 Jones and Gustafsson rematch at UFC 232

AP:Associated Press
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Jones and Gustafsson rematch at UFC 232

The American has twiced lost to Jones, however, a failed drug test meant their July 2017 rematch was overturned to a no-contest.

Cormier also owns a win over Gustafsson, as DC walked away with a split-decision at UFC 192 in October 2015.

The former two-weight champion has been rumoured with a heavyweight showdown against Brock Lesnar as it seemed less likely Cormier would return to light-heavyweight.

DANIEL CORMIER has relinquished his UFC light-heavyweight title ahead of Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson.