Daniel Cormier to fight Jon Jones

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Thursday, July 24, 2014

UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson has withdrawn from a planned title fight against defending champion Jon Jones on Sept. 27 due to injury.

Undefeated former U.S. Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier will replace Gustafsson in the bout, which will headline UFC 178. The pay-per-view event takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Officials announced the switch on Wednesday.

Jones (20-1) initially wanted to fight Cormier in his next bout, but the UFC booked a rematch between he and Gustafsson (16-2) instead. The two first met at UFC 165 in a Fight of the Year candidate in September. Jones won via unanimous decision.

The 27-year-old champion has defended his title seven times, a UFC record in that division. He dominated Glover Teixeira in a five-round unanimous decision in April.

Cormier (15-0) is 2-0 since dropping to the light heavyweight division this year. The former heavyweight submitted Dan Henderson via rear-naked choke at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas.

After defeating Henderson, Cormier, 35, admitted he had fought through a torn LCL and partial ACL tear in his right knee. He was expected to undergo surgery on the knee this month, but will now forego that to pursue a UFC title.

A former member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, Cormier also boasts career wins over Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva.

No timetable is currently known for Gustafsson's return.

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