Looks like UFC 206 has just been downgraded as reports are surfacing that the promotion’s Canadian event has lost its scheduled headlining champion, Daniel Cormier.
MMAFighting was the first to report that UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (18-1) has suffered an injury that will prevent him from defending his title against Anthony Johnson (22-5) on the Dec. 10 fight card at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The UFC has yet to make a formal announcement of Cormier’s potential withdrawal. Johnson, however, tweeted an acknowledgment of the reported injury and wished him a very sportsmanlike full recovery.
I wish nothing but the best for DC and I hope you have a full recovery champ...— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) November 25, 2016
The bout against Johnson is a rematch of their May 2015 pairing at UFC 187. Cormier won that fight by third-round submission, capturing the then-vacant belt left behind when former champ Jon Jones was stripped and suspended for his involvement in a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After making his first defense against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 in October, Cormier was scheduled to have a rematch with Jones in July’s UFC 200 headliner. The fight fell apart just days out, though due to a failed USADA administered drug test, and Cormier ended up fighting and beating former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a lackluster main event.
The extent of Cormier’s injury remains to be seen, but the UFC 206 withdrawal marks the second time this year that he’s been forced to pull out of a scheduled title fight.
Johnson, however, has accumulated three consecutive victories since losing to Cormier at UFC 187, all in dominant fashion, to help him earn a second chance at becoming a UFC titleholder.
He has scored three-straight knockouts including Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and most recently, a 13-second finish of Glover Teixeira at UFC 202 in August.