Daniel Cormier, be careful what you wish for. Sometimes dreams come true.
For Cormier, that day comes at UFC 200. He’ll get one more chance to prove that he can beat Jon Jones, widely considered the best fighter in mixed martial arts. But unless DC decides to make some big changes, both inside the cage and out, he can expect the same outcome as their first fight, and possibly worse.
Cormier, for some reason, just isn’t himself when in the presence of Jones. If he has a shot at immortality, he’ll have to reinvent himself.
5. Daniel Cormier Must Drop His Holier-Than-Thou Attitude
Cormier can’t understand why he gets booed and Jon Jones gets cheered at press conferences and media events? Does he think he’s running for class president? This is a fight and fight fans typically like tough guys.
Fight fans like guys who appear to be down to earth. Jones has a long history of personal failures: drug abuse, hit-and-run crashes and DUI arrests. Although Jones had the opportunity, he’s never going to be MMA’s big breakthrough mainstream star. He’s too troubled, complicated and uncensored. And that’s why MMA fans like him. He’s flawed.
Compare that with Cormier, who has an air of eliteness about him. He talks about training with the so-called best in the world, Cain Velasquez and Luke Rockhold. He talks about his Olympic experience. He critiques other fighters in his role as MMA television analyst. He acts like MMA fans are supposed to like the good guy. Worse, he looks like he gets his feelings hurt.
Cormier needs to stop acting like a baby just because fans cheer Jones. Cormier is in the fight business. It’s not kindergarten. Once he gives up his nice-boy act, he’ll be able to focus on fighting.
4. Daniel Cormier Can’t Wrestle Jon Jones
Sounds like odd advice, but Jones will win every time this fight goes to the ground. Jones is too tall, long and skilled, and he already proved in the first fight that he is better at wrestling inside the MMA cage. Cormier needs to man up and try to knock Jones out. The only reason Cormier emerged as a top-level MMA guy was because he started knocking out guys in Strikeforce. He was a dual threat. If Cormier thinks he’s going to take Jones down and then grind him into submission, he’s in for his own tap-out. Jones is always prepared and he’s ready to wrestle Cormier for five rounds. He’s simply too big for DC on the mat.
3. Daniel Cormier Needs To Turn The Fight Into A One-Round Affair
Cormier needs to go watch Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns. The little guy won that fight because he turned it into a fight. Hearns, with his 82-inch reach could have outboxed Hagler by jabbing him to keep the bald man away. Hagler, however, didn’t give him a chance. He turned the fight into a war immediately. He rushed Hearns, forcing him to fight back, and before you knew it, it was a slugfest for the ages. In fights, the stronger guy usually wins. Daniel Cormier can win a straight-up fight with Jones. He can’t win a five-round, tactical battle because Jones is too skilled, well-trained and prepared for that.
Cormier needs to rattle this guy in the first round and just go for it. He needs to punch, kick and elbow. That’s the only way to beat Jones. Shake him up early. Spit in his face and knock him out before he has a chance to implement his game plan.
2. Stop Judging Jon Jones
The sooner Daniel Cormier can realize that it is possible to simultaneously be the best fighter in the world and be extremely troubled, the sooner he might have a chance at victory. Jones isn’t different from a lot of athletes and celebrities who have enjoyed extreme success at a young age. It’s hard for them to know how to handle it. Jones is not unique.
Cormier has to realize that his hatred of Jones’ personal character only fuels a guy like his rival inside the cage. Jones knows Cormier can’t stand the fact that Jones gets away with all this stuff outside the cage, yet still is cheered and beloved by the company and fans. Cormier has to learn to not show his cards, and instead focus on himself and stopping judging Jones.
Jones is simply a guy who is super successful who has bowed to the temptations that often come with success. Cormier should want to help this guy, not remind everybody at every opportunity how flawed he is.
1. Daniel Cormier Needs To Go Nate Diaz on Jon Jones
Cormier’s biggest flaw is psychological. He wants to be liked. He wants to praised. He wants to be recognized as the best fighter in the world. Yet, Jones owns him every time they engage in a verbal battle.
Cormier had better get real and get real quickly with this guy. In the buildup of the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz match, Diaz did not come across as a guy who was jealous of McGregor. He didn’t sound like he wanted to be liked or accepted. He didn’t talk about anything other than how he wanted to get paid. The fight was not personal for Diaz. It was a paycheck against a guy who he thought was too small for him. Cormier needs to drop the personal battle against Jones and turn this fight into about one thing: The UFC light heavyweight championship.
Cormier only hurts himself by making the fight personal. It shows that he’s jealous of Jones. “I’ll fight anybody on any day, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Jon Jones or Patrick Cummings,” he should say. “I am here to be the best fighter in the world and Jon Jones is just another guy in my way.”
Cormier wastes too much energy worrying about Jones. It’s just another fight and the sooner he remembers that, the greater his chances will be at pulling off an upset.