Daniel Cormier Opts to Remain at Heavyweight, Hoping for UFC Fight in July or August

May 3, 2013
9 Comments

Courtesy of Damon Martin and official MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report.

Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett StrikeforceThe entire MMA world has been wondering since the conclusion of UFC on Fox 7 if Daniel Cormier‘s future in the Octagon would remain at heavyweight or if he would be making the move down to 205 pounds.

Cormier has long flirted with the idea of dropping down to the light heavyweight division for a number of reasons, maybe none more paramount than the fact that his close friend and teammate Cain Velasquez currently sits as UFC heavyweight champion and the two fighters have no desire to face one another in the cage.

Add to that, Cormier’s frame at 5’10” tall tends to match him up better with fighters in the light heavyweight division.

While a move to 205 pounds still seems likely for Cormier’s future, it appears that he will be sticking around at heavyweight for at least another fight or two.

“I always thought if I were to go down I would need a lot of time to do it.  I think that still applies, but I would like to still fight,” Cormier told Bleacher Report.   “At the end of the day I can’t cut massive amounts of weight.  That’s well documented from my problems in the Olympic games.  But I can diet, and when I’m dieting I can still fight.  Can I fight at 205? No.  Because it’s too much weight to cut in a short period of time.  But could I fight a heavyweight fight and just be a little lighter? I think so.”

The plan for Cormier right now is to book his next fight at heavyweight while he’s making the transition down to the smaller weight class.  The key, according to the former Olympian, is to cut the weight slowly, but surely without sacrificing too much time inside the cage.

“Yeah because it keeps me busy, I’m still getting to fight and still gaining experience,” Cormier said about staying at heavyweight for now.  “At the end of the day, I’m still very early in my career.”

One fight that has been mentioned by UFC President Dana White is Cormier taking on former Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson sometime later this year.  While Nelson and his management have varying ideas on what comes next, Cormier doesn’t really care much if he faces him or another top ten fighter.

Cormier’s focus is facing the best fighters in the division and if the name on his contract reads Roy Nelson then so be it.

“I think any fight that involves someone on that higher rank makes sense,” Cormier stated.   “Any of the higher ranked guys make sense.  Also a guy that’s coming off a win. It’s very important if you look at the UFC matchmaking that’s how it goes.  Two guys coming off wins make fights.  I think any fight with a guy that’s ranked high and advances my career makes sense.  I just want to fight big fights.”

Cormier took a week off after his last fight against Frank Mir at UFC on Fox 7 to take his family to Disneyland, but immediately after he was right back in the gym sparring with Velasquez to help him get ready for his fight at UFC 160 against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

The move to light heavyweight will begin as well with Cormier adjusting his diet and dropping the weight over the next several months, but he doesn’t want to accept a fight at 205 pounds unless he knows he will make the cut comfortably.

The end goal for Cormier is to win a UFC championship and right now the best way to do that is fighting at light heavyweight.  The former Strikeforce fighter doesn’t intend on fighting Velasquez, and in his opinion the current UFC champion will remain in possession of the gold for quite some time.

“They’re not beating Cain.  They’re not good enough,” Cormier said about the heavyweight division.  “I’m telling you right now, I think they’re great, I think Junior dos Santos is great.  I think Junior dos Santos has the best chance of beating Cain, but the rest they’re not beating him.  They’re not good enough.  It’s about as honest as I can be with you – they’re not good enough to beat him.”

In terms of his timeline for a return to action, Cormier doesn’t want to sit out too long, which also necessitates his next fight being at heavyweight.  Cormier had to miss a lot of time over the last couple of years due to an injured hand and plenty of delays at his former promotional home in Strikeforce.  At 34 years of age, Cormier doesn’t want to waste any time, so the sooner he can get back in action, the better.

“When I look at some of these cards you look at the July card Anderson Silva and (Chris) Weidman, I think they need a co-main event. Then in August that Fox Sports 1 card, that would be pretty cool,” stated Cormier.  “Any of the big cards I would love to be a part of.”

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  • ned sto

    From this I gather that he is indeed making the cut to 205. That being the case he may have trouble getting a top HW contender coming off of a win to fight him. As a win over Cormier who is leaving the division won’t help much. And a loss would be very much more detrimental.

    Cormier did not display adequate punching power against Mir. Nelson’s chin is made of steel. JDS pounded on it relentlessly for 3 rounds for a UD. I don’t think Cormier even remotely hits as hard. We’ll see how good Cormier’s chin is as I doublt Nelson turns it into a wrestling/JJ match.

    • jay

      LOL! You think Roy Nelson is going to dictate whether or not DC fights on the ground or his feet? If these two fight DC is taking Nelson down within 10 sec and we are going to see if Roy can submit him over a 4:50min period 3-5x depending on how many rounds …

      • ned sto

        Why not? Nelson started out as a wrestler himself and then a JJ guy, his striking is his last development. We haven’t seen much Wrestling/JJ from Nelson since TUF because he’s addicted to his right hands KO power. Plus Roy is going to have 20-30 lbs on Cormier.
        I think LOL is more appropriate to you thinking Cormier is taking Nelson down in the first 10 seconds of each round.
        I’m not discrediting Cormier’s skills nearly as much as you are Nelson’s.

        • saveolympicwrestling

          I agree Roy wrestled, Dan is a wrestler its a big difference. The problem is everyone is looking for the next big star when all they are doing is taking these fighters and not letting them develop into true MMA fighters but shotgunning them into the spot light undeveloped. Cormier wins by wrestling Roy. UFC 166 Nelson vs Cormier battle of the bellys

  • bajafox

    I think the fight against Nelson would make perfect sense for both the fighters and the division. If Cormier can’t beat Nelson decisively, then 205 would ultimately be his home.

    On the other hand, if Nelson beats Cormier, he will have made a solid statement to be included in the title contender discussion, IMHO.

  • Gggj

    Cormier vs kongo for the boredom championship pf the world

  • JDMMA

    well start losing weight now, all he has to loose is 20 lbs which can be done in 4 months easily !!!

    • dd

      no not really..he had a kidney infection before from cutting weight..thats why he fight at hw

      • JDMMA

        His kidneys failed during “cutting” weight during the olympic games and that’s why he couldn’t participated, he was too fat, losing weight and “cutting” weight is completely different, losing fat would be by diet and exercise, cutting weight is pure dehydration, too much cutting risks kidney failure