Daniel Cormier is the UFC light heavyweight champion again.
The 38-year-old was reinstated after the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) officially changed the result of his defeat to Jon Jones in July due to the latter’s failed pre-fight drug test.
Jones regained the title with a third round TKO victory over Cormier at UFC 214 but would go on test positive for the steroid Turinabol in the wake of the bout.
Daniel Cormier has been reinstated as the UFC light heavyweight champion
Cormier’s (left) defeat to Jon Jones (right) in July has been ruled a no contest
The ‘B’ sample confirmed the positive test on Tuesday and CSAC were quick to overturn the fight to a no contest, meaning Cormier had no longer officially lost.
And in an appearance on UFC Tonight on Wednesday, the former Olympian confirmed he was back on top of the 205-pound division.
‘If it’s a no contest, then the fight didn’t happen,’ he explained. ‘Dana White said, ‘If one of you guys would have missed weight, he would have won the fight, but you still would have kept the belt. Because of that, the championship is getting returned to you.’
‘The fight is a no contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight. Once again, I’m the UFC champion.’
Jones finished Cormier via TKO in the third round to regain the 205-pound title
Jones subsequently tested positive for the steroid Turinabol in an in-competition drug test
Cormier also suggested he didn’t want the belt back at first, but he accepted reinstatement for financial reasons as champions get a percentage of pay-per-view revenue in the UFC.
‘I talked to [CSAC] and was like, ‘I lost. I lost the fight,” Cormier said. ‘Now, people will say stuff like, ‘You got handed the belt.’
‘He cheated. The reality is, for me to say, ‘I don’t want this title,’ when I was going to be [fighting] in a championship anyway, financially it’s just a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for a vacant title.’
Jones, meanwhile, faces a multi-year suspension for his second violation of USADA’s doping policy.
The ruling means Cormier no longer officially ‘lost’ and thus remains on top of the division