Though far from official, the reliable Swiss media outlet of kimua.se is reporting that UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is set to return in defense of his UFC world title at UFC 219 against the #2 ranked 205’r Volkan Oezdemir.
The outlet reports that the fight is locked and both fighters have signed their contracts.
Here’s a snip:
“To all the disappointment to Sweden’s fans, it seems that Alexander Gustafsson will not get his rematch against lightweight heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. According to information from Kimura’s sources, Daniel Cormier is scheduled to meet # 2 in Volkan Oezdemir in December. Our sources confirm that both fighters have signed the match contract. They will meet at UFC 219 on 30 December in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
Daniel Cormier is coming off a disappointing loss to Jon Jones. As we would learn days later, Jon Jones failed his pre-fight drug test and was stripped of his belt. The State of California ruled the bout a no-contest due to the drug test failure and the UFC gave Cormier his belt back.
The champion had been trying to narrow down the list of possible challengers, and gave Oezdemir a lot of praise.
“Oezdemir has looked phenomenal in this run. He beat Ovince Saint-Preux the he knocked out [Misha] Cirkunov and knocked out Jimi Manuwa, who was scheduled as a replacement for me and Jones,” Cormier said while doing the post fight show for UFC Fight Night Pittsburgh. “Gustafsson has always been tough. Gustafsson gave me a very tough time the first time but you have to remember for as good as Gustafsson looked in the [Glover] Teixeira fight when he fought Jan Blachowicz, he did not look that good. So if you’re telling me there’s a chance he fights like he fought against Jan Blachowicz, give me Gustafsson.”