Former heavyweight Daniel Cormier may be a win away from a shot at UFC light-heavyweight title. But he thinks his next fight could be tougher than an actual bout with reigning champion Jon Jones.
Cormier (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), one of MMA’s sharper minds and a current FOX Sports MMA analyst, co-headlines UFC 170 when he meets ex-champ Rashad Evans (19-3-1 MMA, 14-3-1 UFC). Cormier, a former NCAA Division I national wrestling runner-up and 2008 U.S. Olympic team captain, makes his 205-pound debut at the pay-per-view show, which takes place Feb. 22 at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Cormier said there are numerous reasons to believe Evans would be a tougher fight than Jones (19-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC). It’s a bold statement considering Jones has recorded a record six straight UFC light-heavyweight title defenses and is currently ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings.
But Cormier insists there’s a reason for his belief. In addition to formerly training with Evans, which gave him some valuable intel, Cormier believes he’ll be harder to get to the mat.
“I don’t mind wrestling a guy with long limbs because I can get to their legs,” Cormier said. “Rashad doesn’t kick as much, and kicking actually feeds your opponent the leg. Jon kicks more, so that’s easier to grab takedowns.”
Cormier also considers Evans’ one-punch power more of a threat than Jones’.
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