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Dana White likes Daniel Cormier as a light heavyweight, says instant title shot a possibility

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

NEW YORK -- Daniel Cormier is currently non-committal on whether his future home lies at heavyweight or light heavyweight, but UFC president Dana White may have sweetened the pot for a downward shift down to 205.

White has consistently said that weight classes are ultimately the athlete's decision, but while speaking to reporters at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, he voiced his own preference for Cormier's future, saying the road to gold could have a shortcut for him with the right move.

"He could drop to 205 and get a shot at the title in my opinion, on day one," he said. "Look at the guys he's beat at heavyweight."

It is not yet currently known if the 34-year-old Cormier could make the number due to kidney issues he sustained during his amateur wrestling career while cutting weight. In his last three fights, he has checked in at 235, 230 and 238 pounds, respectively. To make the light heavyweight championship fight limit, he would have to get down to 205 or less.

Cormier remains unbeaten at 12-0 with five knockouts and three submissions, and even though he won the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix and knocked out current UFC No. 1 contender Antonio Silva earlier in his career, White voiced concerns about whether heavyweight was the right long-term home for him.

"I actually prefer him at 205," he said. "This heavyweight division isn’t like other heavyweight divisions. And in saying that, he beat Josh Barnett. That’s a big deal. I just don’t think he has the punching power at heavyweight that he’d have at 205."

Last week, Cormier said a decision on his future may come within the next week. With White's declaration as well as the light heavyweight division's need for a new top contender after this weekend's UFC 159 match between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, he has something new to add to his deliberations.

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