Now that former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier has fought his last fight at heavyweight, talk has shifted from if he would ever fight his friend and UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to the first fight after his planned drop to the light heavyweight division.
Cormier won a unanimous decision over Roy Nelson at UFC 166 on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Houston. With that victory behind him, Cormier plans to fight at 205 pounds for his next bout.
Cormier initially thought he would be able to challenge Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship upon moving down a weight class, but told MMAWeekly.com recently that he realized that the division had moved on from that being at all likely.
Questions after the Nelson fight almost instantly shifted to the possibility of him fighting Alexander Gustafsson next. That would be fine by Cormier, but he would have a stipulation: Only in America. That stipulation in all likelihood means that Gustafsson is off the table.
“I have no problem fighting Alexander Gustafsson, not at all,” Cormier said on Wednesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight. “The one thing I’m concerned about is being as it’s gonna be my first time down at 205, I know Gustafsson is gonna fight in Europe somewhere, whether it’s Sweden or somewhere else in Europe. I don’t want to be making my first weight cut down to 205 overseas.
“I know what I’m going to need. I know how to find saunas here in the United States and all the food that I’m comfortable with. It’s easily accessible for me in the United States of America. I have no problem fighting Alexander Gustafsson, but I would not want to do it overseas.”
There are plenty of other top light heavyweights for Cormier to face in his 205-pound debut, however; fighters like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis among them.
“Those are all big fights and the fights that matter. These are the fights that I’m gonna need if I’m gonna put myself in a position to win a championship,” Cormier continued. “I want to fight for the title. That’s the reason I was gonna go down to 205. I thought that was going to be my first fight; that was my intention at least. But it doesn’t seem that way in a division that has moved on.
“Give me Li’l Nog, that would be a great fight. Any of those guys makes for an exciting fight. I want big fights and I want to fight a guy that is a contender.”