Inaugural UFC Welterweight Champion Pat Miletich knows a thing or two about MMA. Currently announcing fights on AXS TV, Miletich stays on top of all relevant topics circulating around the sport.
One of the hottest discussions right now is former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier’s shift down to light heavyweight. “DC” made his debut at 205 pounds this past weekend at UFC 170, throttling a grossly overmatched Patrick Cummins after his original opponent Rashad Evans was forced out.
Cormier debuted at No. 6 in the light heavyweight rankings today, but Miletich thinks he’s going to rise a lot higher than that. Focusing on “DC’s” unlimited potential in an appearance on Sherdog Radio’s “Beatdown,” Miletich said he believes Cormier is ready to fight whoever wins UFC 172’s Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira title bout:
“I think he is. I’m sure we’re going to see him fight somebody else before that and really truly legitimize himself [against] whoever it is that he fights, a Gustafsson or somebody like that, which would be a great measuring stick obviously. Gustafsson’s a very, very tough guy. But I think we’re going to see one more fight out of Daniel before he ends up fighting the winner of that fight.”
And that one fight could very well be a match against Gustafsson, provided “The Mauler” gets by undefeated prospect Jimi Manuwa on March 8 from London’s O2 Arena. A Cormier vs. Gustafsson bout would no doubt be a sight to behold, but if Gustafsson does defeat “Poster Boy” in devastating fashion, there may be nowhere else for him to go than his awaited rematch with Jones.
Regardless of what Cormier’s next bout ends up being, Miletich was quick to praise “DC’s” skills at 205 pounds, noting that he’s stronger than most in the division while still maintaining his quickness. Miletich thinks Cormier has what it takes to not only become the light heavyweight champion, but also heavyweight champ (provided his good friend Cain Velasquez didn’t already have that spot locked down):
“Certainly. … I just think that at 205, he’s benefited. He’s quick enough to deal with the 205ers. He’s stronger than the 205ers. His wrestling is better than any of the 205ers. He’s going to make a lot of money there. He doesn’t have to be a heavyweight to make a ton of money. I think he can make millions being a 205er and running through people, but yeah, I think he could certainly win the heavyweight title also.”
That’s some very high praise from a man who knows what he’s talking about. Miletich picked Cormier to defeat Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva as a late replacement in the Strikeforce Grand Prix, and he got laughed at. But, after a devastating Cormier knockout the cat was out of the bag. “DC” went on to defeat Josh Barnett in the finals, cementing his move to the UFC as a high-level contender.
Just how far can Cormier go in his new division? Is he the one to finally wrest the belt from Jones’ iron grip?