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Daniel Cormier proposes UFC interim featherweight match-up

The former two-division UFC champion has an idea on what to do with the featherweight division after a string of murky wins. 

Arnold Allen after UFC Vegas 63.
Arnold Allen after UFC Vegas 63.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Daniel Cormier has an idea on how to save the UFC featherweight division from going stagnant while Alexander Volkanovski pursues champ-champ status.

For his next appearance, all signs point to Volkanovski moving up to lightweight and challenging Islam Makhachev, the newly crowned champ following his second-round submission of Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 this past October. Though nothing is confirmed, the reigning featherweight champ and Makhachev have expressed interest in sharing the Octagon early next year.

While Volkanovski spends the next few months preparing for Makhachev, Cormier wants to see the featherweight division as active as possible, so he proposes an interim championship fight between Arnold Allen and Josh Emmett. On the most recent episode of DC & RC, the UFC Hall of Famer explains why those two contenders should be going for gold in the absence of Volkanovski.

“Arnold Allen deserves to fight for some portion of the championship,” said Cormier. “I believe his humility in that moment [against Calvin Kattar at UFC Vegas 63] is what actually turned me about. And honestly, Josh Emmett does deserve an interim title fight also. I’m like, ‘You know what, man? Those guys should not have to wait for the champion as he tries to chase down greatness.’”

“Give the champion an opportunity to do something truly special, but allow for the weight class to continue to move and see if something show itself,” continued Cormier. “I don’t like when a guy has to win double digit fights in the UFC in order to earn a championship opportunity. It seems like way to long, and I would like to see Allen fighting for some portion of the championship against Josh Emmett, preferably in Australia, right underneath Volkanovski fighting against Islam Makhachev.”

Allen and Emmett have extended their respective win streaks by defeating Calvin Kattar in recent outings, but ‘Almighty’ admits they may be ‘dodgy’ given their nature. That said, the Tristar Gym Talent feels he is in a prime position to be one-half of a proposed interim championship fight, should the UFC opt to schedule one.

“If they are going to do an interim title, I want to be part of that,” said Allen on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “I feel like I should be one-half of that. All the talk seems to be that, right? Everything seems to be pointing to that happening. That would be cool [to fight for the interim title next].”