Title Shot or Not, Daniel Cormier Wants to Jump in the Deep End of UFC Light Heavyweight Pool

October 21, 2013
64 Comments

Daniel Cormier StrikeforceFormer Oklahoma State wrestling standout and two-time Olympian Daniel Cormier has long been discussed as a contender in the UFC heavyweight division.

Serving as main sparring partner and head coach for UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Cormier currently sits undefeated in his MMA career and is knocking on the door of a title shot with each victory.

At UFC 166 on Saturday night in Houston, Cormier dispatched of his most recent test by defeating the bearded brawler, “Big Country” Roy Nelson via unanimous decision.  The win marked Cormier’s thirteenth win in a row and came on the heels of victories over Frank Mir, Josh Barnett and Antonio “Big Foot” Silva – all perennial Top 10 heavyweights.

With his stock rising at a quickening pace, questions have long been asked as to whether Velasquez and Cormier would ever put their friendship aside to do battle in the Octagon.

The answer has been, and seemingly always will be, a resounding “no.”

Cormier will instead drop down to light heavyweight and make a run at the pound-for-pound king, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.

Recent comments made by Jones hinted that Cormier isn’t worthy enough to step inside the cage with the champ. He questioned his resume and alluded to more difficult opponents to worry about than a guy who may or may not be joining his division.

Cormier has remained fairly mum on the subject, except saying that he definitely plans on contending for the gold at 205 pounds, and he would love to be the one to dethrone Jones.

From inside the Toyota Center at the post-fight press conference on Saturday night, Cormier addressed his move to light heavyweight, his hopes for an instant title shot, and touched on his performance at UFC 166.

“I thought I fought a good fight,” said the 34-year-old. “I was able to use my strategy that I went into the fight with: get a good win over a tough guy.

“Well, I mean, I’m 34 years old, so I have to get moving,” he said when asked about his future title plans at light heavyweight. “Listen, I can ask. I wanted a Nintendo when I was growing up and my mom just said, ‘no.’ But I can ask Dana for a title shot. All he can say is ‘no.’ And maybe then he gets tired of me asking and says, ‘Okay, D.C., now leave me alone.’”

Title fight or no title fight, Cormier contends that he just wants to stay active.  For the American Kickboxing Academy product, the light heavyweight division is a well-oiled machine with plenty of top-level talent.  And with his move to 205 confirmed, Cormier just wants to fight whoever gets him closest to UFC gold.

“I just want fight when the division is moving. Before I was like, ‘let me fight, let me fight,’ and then the division moved on,” he stated. “No division waits for anyone but the champion.  So it moved on and I just want to be in line when the rest of those guys are fighting; when Jones is fighting, when Gustafsson is fighting, when those guys are fighting, I want to be fighting one of those guys.”

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  • Jason Hunt

    He looked in great shape. Very slim. One fight at 205 vs top 10 guy and he deserves a shot a champ.

    • Mark McDowall

      Who would you put him against…Glover is booked, Gustafsen would beat him back in to the HW division..etc etc. I think the best fight for him right now is against Sonnen.

      • solo

        Maybe Davis or Mousasi?

        • bro

          Gustafsen would get hes ass beat

      • Werdoomb

        I don’t know how you could so easily pick Gus over Cormier.

        I personally don’t think it is a good idea for DC to drop down to 205 simply because he is a short, compact fighter who relies on his speed against bigger sluggish guys. And at 205, he will not be the fastest guy in the division.

        But from what I’ve seen so far, DC is the real deal.

        What happen to all the TUF noob on this site picking Nelson over DC because DC hasn’t proved himself in the UFC yet?

        • Mark McDowall

          The only hope that DC would have against Gustafsen would be if he laid on him for 15 minutes. Im sure we can both agree that Jones is far superior to DC…and Gustafsen took Jones to the brink. So what kind of a shot would 5’10 DC have against 6’4 guys with HUGE reach advantages??

          • Kyle Rayner

            He beat Josh Barnett who is very close in reach and height. Alex 6’5, Josh 6’3. Alex Reach 79, Josh 78. Your disadvantage argument in invalid…

          • Mark McDowall

            Josh barnett shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as Gustafsen and Jones. Ok so they have similar reach…but the skill set isn’t even close.

          • deepgrim

            and smashed bigfoot!

  • robc

    In shape or not Cormier is boring as paint drying… The Mir fight and now this one show he is a points fighter. First off, we have enough of those in the UFC (GSP, Rashad, Bisping to name a few), second bones will obliterate him. He fights very similar to Rashad, fast movement, jabs, darting in and out (and Bisping, and GSP for that matter) but Bones with superior reach will do the same thing he did to Rashad. The Cormier fight was really the only bad fight on the card last night. Ironically it went exactly as I expected. Nelson is too slow and still has crappy cardio despite having shed some weight. the only reason cormier’s fight with Barnett was exciting was because of Barnett. Do we really need another jab heavy wrestler that makes no effort to finish? I hope not.

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      I couldn’t imagine Evans vs Cormier. What would you think of that? And I hope Nelson gets cut. I’m so sick of him. Not even a good boxer, if he can’t catch you with that overhand right he losses the fight and every fight he wants a title shot if he does win.

      • TheCerealKiller

        Amen!

      • james j

        Agreed. I am ready for Roy to go. I expected DC to be much different than he is. I am not a big fan. However the guy is undefeated…

      • MuayThaiFood

        Why Evans? I don’t like his chances at all against Cormier

        • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

          I think the fight would be big and a real test for Cormier since Evans is very athletic and mixes it up well. DC just seems so big still though, I don’t know if he can drop the rest of the weight. There are just so many names in that division for him to face it would be interesting. Who do you have in mind for him? Is it me or is the LHW division lacking wrestlers and high level submission artist? Other then Davis, Evans, Henderson and Sonnen I can’t think of anyone.

          • MuayThaiFood

            You’re not sure Cormier could drop the rest of the weight? He’s already there. He just fought at heavyweight and I believe he weighed 224. We know he didn’t get there by dehydrating because he was already well below 265 so no need. That’s less than 20 pounds. He’s still going to lose more fat which will make the final cut even easier.

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            I know 224 is not much to go but I thought the guy had weight cutting issues from his wrestling days. Unless he’s going to walk around at 205 and give up the weight advantage. Not like he needs it he’s an incredible wrestler as it is and has some power in his hands.

          • MuayThaiFood

            Well, he’s been giving up height, reach, and weight advantage at HW. I guess a fight against a top 5 guy will tell us all we need to know unless you want to go easy on him and feed him Chael P as a warm up.

          • MuayThaiFood

            Phil Davis or Gus make the most sense to me. If he can get through either of those guys with a dominant win then I think they should give him Jones and let them sort it out.

    • bro

      I thought Jones would destroy alexander but that didnt happen Jones only has reach his wrestling is weeker then cormier but stand up is a little better Jones dosent look like a smart fighter after I watch that alexander fight he didnt impress me at all to be honest if you say jones will only jab then i guess we could say he is a points fighter too

      • uncle

        I hate Jones but he couldn’t beat some1
        his own size, like Gus he won’t have that
        advantage anymore like his other fights
        he should really be fighting in HW anyway his frame is HW, and he cuts the weight to beat smaller fighters because
        if he goes to HW where Jones belong
        some1 would take care of him real soon
        and Jones knows this

    • Big Tuna

      He knocked out Bigfoot! You meatheads think that KO’s come every fight, I bet you think the heavyweight champ is boring too.

      • Guest

        Yeah, Velazquez sucks and is a boring fighter like all wrestlers in MMA.

      • Dragon Kid

        Bigfoot is just a slow heavyweight and you know it.

    • Brent

      I Disagree. He is a former olympic wrestler who manhandles any fighter he touches. He uses his strengths which are quick hands, feet and wrestling. He’ll give Jones a tough fight. He ain’t no Rashad!!

    • deepgrim

      but still he knocked out big foot/ completely out boxed him and big foot has a long reach advantage on him too, i think he will give jones alot of problems cause he is one of few who has better wrestling than jones so if he wants to hold him against a cage i would think he could

    • MuayThaiFood

      You talk out your arse grasshopper. He hit Roy with some shots that would have knocked out many other fighters. He could have coasted in the third and he was right in Roy’s face slugging at the end. There wasn’t a bad fight on that card.

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    Two fights at LHW and he should get a shot. Although I don’t know why Jones is wasting his time talking about Cormier when he has three or four other guys in his own division he still hasn’t fought. If Jones want to do some talking maybe he should go pick on a legit HW and go up in weight to further cement his legacy.

    • Milosc

      Dan Cormier is the 2nd or 3rd best heavyweight in the World (undefeated)

      He could be getting a title shot, right now, at a higher weight class. It’s not like he’s coming over from Strikeforce, again

      • The Best Eva

        Remind me who he beat to be number 2 or 3. Undefeated means nothing.

        • bro

          Bigfoot – Mir- Barnett- Nelson-

          • Kenny Powers

            Exactly, say what u want about DC but he already beat the other top guys at HW. Still undefeated and most likely, he would beat Werdum, Browne & Overeem too so there’s really no argument against him.

          • The Best Eva

            That’s laughable.

            He beat Bigfoot and Barnett in Stikeforce and Bigfoot looked bad in that fight, he slowly got by Mir and Nelson who both shouldn’t be in any top 10’s.

            Barnett is his biggest win and that fight was as lackluster as the two UFC fights.

            I do think he is very good and will be good in the LHW division but lets be real he never cracked the top 5 heavyweights.

          • Worst Eva

            Undefeated means nothing?????? So any fighter that’s gone undefeated is a loser? Brilliant statement Phil.

          • The Best Eva

            And I have losers like this guy turning my name around like he’s cool and funny or something.

          • Werdoomb

            Even after DC beats Fat Country, you are still running your mouth.

            “Oh he came from Strikefarce, which is a minor league, therefore his wins should count! He didn’t destroy Mir and Nelson. He just beat them up. Therefore, he is not a top 3 fighter. And Barnett’s hand was hurrt in that fight. So that fight shoulnd’t count. Bigfoot just looked more sluggish that his usual sluggish nature in that fight. Therefore that fight shouldn’t count either. I would put someone like Travis Browne, who has won all his fights in the UFC, except for the unfortunate Bigfoot fight, on top of DC. Yeah, UFC is the only promotion worth watching. DANA I LOVVVE YOU MAN!!”

            The Best Eva at being a doooomb foooock.

          • deepgrim

            i like the way you can decide what fight a fighter deserves creditability from. off course been cains wrestling coach and sparring with him in hour stints dont count for much either

          • MuayThaiFood

            You didn’t catch the sarcasm there I take it. He was making fun of Best Eva’s comment.

          • MuayThaiFood

            What’s laughable is that you mention that Cormier beat Bigfoot and Barnett in Strikeforce, like that means something. They are the same Bigfoot and Barnett that are now in the UFC. You realize they are the same people right?

          • The Best Eva

            Didn’t mean it like that my bad.

          • John Bunch

            I know Cormier/Werdum could go the way of Shields/Maia (I’m just not educated enough to appreciate a tactical battle in a style I know very little about) but I’d like to see that fight.

          • The Best Eva

            You proved my point more than your own there.

          • Marcus Miles

            He barely beat nelson? Is that because he didnt Knock him out? Looked like he owned Nelson and Nelson had nothing for him. I think the only good thing Nelson did was get up to his feet when he got taken down. Looked like once again Nelson took an ass whipping. The reason Bigfoot looked bad against DC is because DC was dropping him more than once and…. oh because DC WHIPPED his ass. The MIR fight was borning, Nelson……who finishes Nelson???? He had Barnett pretty bloody man. Not every fight is a finish and DC is a good fighter and to take that away from him is weak bro.

          • The Best Eva

            Read my other message or don’t post.

          • Werdoomb

            u picked Mir over DC and Nelson over DC. You were wrong on both fights. So STFU and leave this site as promised.

          • The Best Eva

            Never said that idiot you are one of the most hated people on the site and you are a total idiot.

            You have be right like 5/100 times but you are smart.

            Piss off clown.

          • Marcus Miles

            “Dont post” you making rules as you go.I did read you message man, you said DC isnt that good and over rated. I read it and commented on it. You should just quit speaking so strongly against someone who is winning.

          • The Best Eva

            Still didn’t read my post you stupid clown I said I think he is good just not impressive and he doesn’t deserve the praise yet.

            Why do I get the mentally retarded inbreds responding to my posts.

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Yes but the guys in that division have been putting in the work in their respective weight class. There are way more fights for him at LHW. He may have beaten Mir and Nelson but his biggest win is really Barnett. He had no real business fighting Nelson that was a waste of a fight for him. He deserved better.

  • The Best Eva

    Cormier is massively overrated his last two fights have been lackluster against middle heavyweight competition.

    Make him fight someone like goose first.

    • Big Tuna

      HI MY NAME IS BEST EVA I LIKE HOOTERS, football, motorcycles, pit bulls, big trucks, and anything else that others tell is me is tough…ugh

      • The Best Eva

        Wow talk about a loser with no life.

        Post about MMA jackass.

        • Big Tuna

          My bad I forgot to add tight fit shirts and tattoos

          • The Best Eva

            Besides football you’re completely wrong idiot.

            And my name is a joke to go along with MMA, but you are dumb and young so It’s okay that you don’t know.

            It sounds like you are a person that is bullied by those kinds of people which is very sad, seek help.

          • Berry

            Baroni…? If so I like it haha

          • The Best Eva

            Yes sir!

          • TheCerealKiller

            Shut up stupid dummy face.

  • Denny Swain

    Rather see cormier dispatch phil davis

    • The Best Eva

      That would be a good fight.

  • Vstylez

    So DC beats top caliber guys like Bigfoot,Barnett,Mir and now Nelson and some of you have the nerve to think he don’t deserve a title shot at Jon ” I’m bigger(Taller and Longer) than everybody else in my division except Gus, Bones” Jones… Jon Jones beat a shot not healthy at all Shogun and everybody else he’s beat from Rashad to a hurt Rampage,Chael, etc, he’s beat them with his attributes he’s a average wrestler DC is a two time Olympian and captain of the wrestling team..Edge: DC… Jones is just naturally bigger than everyone in his division thats not his fault but you just saw what happened when he fought someone his size right I still say Gus won the first 3 rounds that just my opinion. DC has beat Top Heavyweights that were bigger than him, He beat Barnett when he was Top 3 in the world and people outside of Wrestling didn’t know who he was. I’m not saying Jon Jones is not a deserving Champion but styles make fights I believe he could pull it off, the only little guys who who gave JJ trouble slightly were Vitor and Machida but his advantages helped him again… DC is a world class wrestler his striking is improving and for the guy who said Bigfoot looked shot in that fight he smashed him in the 1st round way before Cain ever did and Bigfoot beat Fedor you can’t take that away ever. I always said Jones true challenge would be when he fought someone his size we will know the real JJ, he’s still champ but I say Gus won that fight, I know some of you will agree with that. I think DC vs Gus for a shot at the champ should be next, either way Jones needs to improve more and he even looked pass Gus by saying he would make a statement in that fight and we saw the statement go look at his face when they announced him as the winning, nuff said..

    • The Best Eva

      Nope at least 1 fight before he gets a shot.

      • Werdoomb

        I agree. THat’s good for DC also. He needs a warm up at 205.

        God, at times like this I wish Forrest Griffin were still around. he would have been an awesome stepping stone for someone like DC.

        I mean Dc is a better wrestler than anyone in the game. But better wrestler doesn’t mean better MMA fighter. Heck, Frank Shamrock submitted an Olympic gold medalist back in the days.

        The bigger, longer, taller argument can’t be dismissed. Jon Jones will have more than a 4 inch advantage on DC.

  • Daniel Dieringer

    cormier has hand! what ROBC and have you ever fought? Who cares if they point fight there tring to win not please you foo.

  • AXE MURDERER

    GIVE HIM GUS, GIVE HIM GUS, GIVE HIM GUS !!!
    Do it now while both are super popular mma stars right now! Winner gets immediate shot at the title! Would make a great main event or co main event. Do it on the the Jones v Tex card. Now who wouldn’t want to see that?