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


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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