In news that everyone wishes was just an ‘April Fools’ prank, but is actually real, it’s emerged that current UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has had to pull out of his rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 197 due to an injury.
Cormier is believed to be suffering from a foot injury, and that ties in with a rumor that was doing the rounds within the last week that the champion had been seen limping while at a wrestling show recently.
So far the UFC have not officially announced that Cormier is out, but respected sources from multiple outlets have been able to confirm that it is indeed true.
UFC 197 is now only three weeks away and the promotion will now be scrambling to see whether there’s enough time left to find a suitable opponent for Jones.
A potential concern is whether the former light-heavyweight champion would actually accept a new opponent at this stage, given that he infamously turned down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 after Dan Henderson got injured, which led to the entire show being cancelled.
The UFC lost tens of millions of dollars due to Jones decision on that occasion, so they’ll be anxious to ensure that doesn’t happen again.
The ideal solution would be to draft in current No.2 ranked contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson to face Jones, while the man one place behind him, Alexander Gustafsson would also be a perfect replacement, but it remains to be seen if either would be interested.
If worst comes to worst UFC 197 should still go ahead as the current co-main event flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo could serve as the headliner, with Anthony Pettis Vs Edson Barboza then moving up to become the new co-main.
Despite his dominance, Johnson just isn’t a PPV draw though, so that’s likely to be a last resort for the UFC.
That being said, The potential upside to that scenario would be that the UFC could then reschedule Jones to fight at UFC 200 against either a healthy Cormier, or one of the other aforementioned fighters.