On April 20th, the UFC on FOX 7 event takes place in San Jose, California and features a main event for the Lightweight title between Champion Benson Henderson and challenger Gilbert Melendez. The Heavyweight division will also be in focus, as the co-main event has former UFC Champion Frank Mir welcoming Strikeforce Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier to the UFC. Less than a month from the fight, the odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook have Cormier favored at -400 with the comeback on Frank Mir at +325. Since the match was made for last September’s Strikeforce event and postponed, the odds have always favored Cormier, and the numbers are not likely to change much come fight time. The UFC had slated Junior Dos Santos to meet Alistair Overeem, and champion Cain Velasquez will defend his title against Antonio Silva in a round robin featuring four of the best heavyweights in the world. Now, Overeem has dropped out of the bout, replaced by Mark Hunt. Since it became a formality that he was coming over to the UFC Cormier has always been the x factor in the Heavyweight division. As the odds show, Cormier is expected to get by Mir, so where does that leave him? If Cormier gets by Mir, and Velasquez gets by Silva as expected, then this leaves Cormeir out of the title picture for now, since he and Velasquez are friends and training partners in the truest sense. The UFC must have learned by now that it’s better to not have friends and teammates fight each other, so they will push Cormier for a drop in weight to 205lbs and a fight with Jon Jones. If you look at the situations of Frankie Edgar and Anthony Pettis, the UFC has already created title shots for competitors at new weight classes. Cormier, with his undefeated record and credentials as a Strikeforce tournament winner would justify the shot just as much as either of the men who dropped to Featherweight. There’s also the fact that Jones has cleaned out the Light Heavyweight division. Lyoto Machida – the next apparent challenger at the weight – practically wets himself every time he hears the name Jon Jones. If Jones smashes Chael Sonnen as he is expected to do, the UFC will have an urgent need to try to get a competitive match for Jones, and Cormier represents that. Look for two things to happen in the next month – Cormier wins his bout, and Velasquez retains his belt. If both occur, the next time we see Daniel Cormier after April will be across the cage from Jon Jones.
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