Daniel Cormier will make his light heavyweight debut against Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 170.
Cormier, a former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion, confirmed in early October that he planned to drop to 205 pounds after his bout with Roy Nelson in the co-main event of UFC 166, which he won by unanimous decision. The 34-year-old said he felt more comfortable making weight as a light heavyweight, but that he also didn’t want to fight teammate and current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who defended his title against Junior dos Santos with a fifth-round TKO in the UFC 166 main event.
“It does have a lot to do with me not wanting to fight Cain Velasquez, but I also want to be a champion of the UFC, and if I’m not going to fight for the belt at heavyweight, then I’ve got to find a division where I can compete for the championship,” Cormier said.
Current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has said that he doesn’t think he would take a fight against the former Olympic wrestler, but Cormier insisted that he and Jones would fight at some point.
Former champion Rashad Evans, who currently holds the record for most wins in UFC light heavyweight history — as well as most knockouts — announced the match during the UFC Fight Night 33 pre-fight show on Fox Sports 2 Friday.
UFC 170 was initially supposed to be headlined by Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira, but Jones was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a foot injury suffered during his match against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165 in September. Jones and Teixeira will now headline UFC 171 on March 15, 2014 in Dallas.
Daniel Cormier (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is currently ranked as the #3 heavyweight, after Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. Rashad Evans (19-3-1 MMA, 14-3-1 UFC) is ranked as the #4 light heavyweight behind Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, and Glover Teixeira.
UFC 170 will take place February 22, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
[Pictured: Daniel Cormier]