Crash Course to UFC 192: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Daniel Cormier
Everything you need to know about this weekend's big fight
Daniel Cormier was on a conference call with reporters last week, part of the promotional push for Saturday’s UFC 192, in which he will defend the light heavyweight championship for the first time. He’s an engaging guy, and in his moonlighting work as a host on the Fox Sports 1 show UFC Tonight, he has shown media savvy and a comfortable confidence on the microphone. You just knew he had some sharp words stored up to sell his fight with Alexander Gustafsson.
When the first question came his way, however, Cormier was not asked about his challenger. He was not asked about either of the two other 205-pound contenders who’ll meet on the undercard, Ryan Bader and former champ Rashad Evans, whose clash could very well determine who gets the next shot at the belt.
No, the champ was asked about a man who’s not even an active UFC fighter. Yet that ghostly figure looms as large as the sport itself. When the Toyota Center in Houston is rocking this weekend, the bright lights will in no way obscure the shadow extending from 750 miles away in Albuquerque.
Jon Jones walked out of a courtroom in the New Mexico city where he lives on Tuesday, and did so a free man after a plea deal allowed him to avoid jail time in the felony case stemming from his hit-and-run auto accident in April. That incident had prompted the UFC to strip Jones of the title belt he’d worn for four years, and to suspend the consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter indefinitely. Now the fight promotion is considering whether to reinstate Jones to its active roster, and considering the disciplinary track record of Dana White & Co., it’s hard to imagine that “Bones” will be on the sideline for long.
In the meantime, the light heavyweight division moves on … as best it can.
Mike Goldberg will handle blow-by-blow and Joe Rogan analysis for the main-card telecast on pay-per-view as well as prelims on Fox Sports 1 and the UFC Fight Pass. There will be an hour-long postfight show on Fox Sports 1, starting at 1 a.m. ET.