After an unfortunate injury derailed a highly-anticipated light heavyweight clash at UFC 170, the organization has designs on rebooking a Rashad Evans-Daniel Cormier fight for either April or May. The pivotal 205-pound clash between the former champion Evans and the undefeated Cormier was to have been the co-main event for the upcoming event on February 22 in Las Vegas, but “Suga” was forced to withdraw due to a leg injury.
While that’s a terrible blow to an already injury-ravaged card, the good news is that Evans doesn’t need surgery. He requires about four weeks of rehabilitation to get back to speed from the injury and with that in mind, the promotion is looking to have the contest take place most likely at UFC 172 in Baltimore, or if Evans isn’t ready, at UFC 173 in Las Vegas.
Cormier had been begging to stay on the February 22 card in Las Vegas and was willing to fight against anyone as he had a number of family members flying in for the occasion. However, despite Chael Sonnen’s willingness to step up and face Cormier on short notice, the promotion has made the right call by opting to reset a very significant matchup with title implications for later in the year.
The ideal scenario would be for the organization to have Evans vs. Cormier take place on April 26 as UFC 172 is already loaded with key light heavyweight matchups. Jon Jones will defend his title against Glover Teixeira, while Anthony Johnson makes his return to the organization to face top-five contender Phil Davis.
While it’ll have to wait longer than most hoped, the Evans-Cormier bout remains a marquee matchup in the division. The former champion Evans is riding a two-fight win streak and looked terrific in finishing Sonnen in the first round of their fight at UFC 167. He knows handing Cormier his first career loss would have him knocking on the door of another title opportunity.
The same goes for Cormier. He elected to make the significant weight cut from heavyweight in order to avoid any possible conflict with champion Cain Velasquez, who is a close friend and training partner. Cormier is 2-0 inside the Octagon with victories over Roy Nelson and Frank Mir. He gets a significant test right out of the chute in his new weight class and if he passes it, a title shot could be within his grasp.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports