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Daniel Cormier says he’ll defend UFC light heavyweight title before end of year

CALGARY, Alberta — Daniel Cormier says he’ll fight again before this year is up. And the plan right now is for him to defend the UFC light heavyweight title.

Cormier, who added the UFC heavyweight belt to his collection earlier this month at UFC 226, told MMA Fighting during a behind-the-scenes video shoot with FOX Sports this week that he intends to defend the 205-pound title before the end of 2018.

“When and where, Corey Anderson,” Cormier told his FOX broadcast partner Michael Bisping on the video. “When and where, (Ilir) Latifi. When and where, Anthony Smith. When and where, all of them. All of them at some point this year.”

Cormier joked that he has a good idea of how to determine who will be the light heavyweight contender who gets the chance.

“Take a piece of steak, put it in the Octagon,” Cormier said. “Whoever wins gets the title fight. Let’s do it like that.”

After Cormier beat Stipe Miocic to win the heavyweight title, he called out Brock Lesnar, who was sitting cageside. Lesnar entered the Octagon and a mini-scuffle ensued. UFC president Dana White said at UFC 226’s post-fight press conference that the promotion will do Cormier vs. Lesnar for the heavyweight title.

Lesnar entered back into the USADA drug-testing pool on July 3 and he’ll be eligible to return to the Octagon again on Jan. 8, 2019. Cormier said he that he trusts that Lesnar can go through the six months plus of drug testing without testing positive. Lesnar still has that much time left on his suspension for the prohibited substance clomiphene stemming from UFC 200 in 2016.

But, it turns out, Lesnar might not be next for Cormier. First, he said he’ll defend his light heavyweight strap.

“Yes, I am,” said Cormier, who plans on retiring on his 40th birthday next March. “As long as they don’t f*ck up my Lesnar fight.”

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