UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier has been in the news for several things as of late, from rumors of a fight with Roy Nelson to the oft-discussed plan for a move down to light heavyweight in order to face champion Jon Jones. And while nothing official has been announced for his next bout, he’s speaking out vehemently against the accusations that he turned down a fight with ‘Big Country’:
“I didn’t turn down a fight with him. Roy actually said that he was willing to fight me in Strikeforce, so it’s a fight he obviously wants. But for him to say that I turned down the fight is not true. I couldn’t fight him because I wasn’t medically cleared. I did [ligament] damage to my hand during my last fight with Frank Mir. If I was medically cleared, I would have taken the fight. I’m not afraid of Roy Nelson, so let’s fight.” – via ESPN.com
Usually we don’t see Cormier get too animated no matter what he’s talking about, something that’s also echoed by his teammate, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. For Cormier to get even slightly heated about Nelson most likely means that DC is ready to fight to the finish. However, Nelson’s window of opportunity for a bout against DC may be closing, as Cormier stated he only has one bout left at heavyweight:
“This is it, my next fight will be my last at heavyweight. I want to try to fight a little lighter this time, and by the end of this year or early next year, I will fight my first fight at 205 pounds.”
“I’ve gotten my plan together, and I’m tackling it head-on so I will be able to [cut weight] in the right way and feel pretty good competing. It’s obviously going to be a process and not an easy process, but I’m willing to take that challenge. I want to be champion.”
Much has been made of Cormier going down to 205, as it is well known that he will not fight Velasquez, blocking him off from obtaining the UFC heavyweight crown for the time being. But much has also been made about Cormier’s struggles to cut weight as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, so it’s kind of a mixed bag for him right.
Should he begin the cut down to 205 right away? He fights at around 235, leaving 30 lbs. to lose before stepping into the cage to fight at light heavyweight. It’s well-documented that Cormier spent time in the hospital after frying his kidneys during the Olympic weight cut, can his body withstand another brutal onslaught like that?
It’s tough to say, but best-case scenario, Cormier gives himself enough time to cut the weight safely and beats Jones for the 205 title. However, I’m not entirely sure he can beat Jones even though he’s dominated the heavyweight division up until this point. Jones may simply be too dynamic and well-rounded a fighter, while Cormier is great at wrestling and striking but lacks a true submission game.
There’s a ton of what ifs surrounding Daniel Cormier right now, but they could all potentially lead to big things for the UFC newcomer. Is cutting down to 205 the right choice for DC, or she he continue to ply his trade at heavyweight?