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Daniel Cormier Decides to Stay at Heavyweight…For Now

Former two-time Olympian and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier spoke with Damon Martin over at Bleacher Report recently and gave a little immediate clarity as to his plans. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter made his successful UFC debut a few weeks ago, soundly beating former heavyweight champion Frank Mir by unanimous decision but long-time speculation as to whether he’d drop down a weight class to light heavyweight was stoked when organization President Dana White said that Cormier could get an automatic shot at the 205 pound championship should he decide to lose the weight and change categories.

Cormier says that he’s still early in his career, wants to go down to light heavyweight eventually but will continue to campaign in the division where his teammate, Cain Velasquez, is champion. “Yeah because it keeps me busy, I’m still getting to fight and still gaining experience…At the end of the day, I’m still very early in my career,” Cormier told Bleacher Report.

Perhaps this is Cormier’s way of pumping the brakes on all this title-shot (at either light heavyweight or heavyweight) talk because he wants to develop and get better. Or maybe he’s hedging his bets in case Velasquez happens to lose the belt and he could then have a path to the heavyweight strap without the choice of whether or not to fight a friend and teammate.

Cormier doesn’t have an opponent yet but wants to fight again this year. If it is Roy Nelson, he’d be fine with that.

“I think any fight that involves someone on that higher rank makes sense,” Cormier stated. “Any of the higher-ranked guys make sense. Also a guy that’s coming off a win. It’s very important if you look at the UFC matchmaking that’s how it goes. Two guys coming off wins make fights. I think any fight with a guy that’s ranked high and advances my career makes sense. I just want to fight big fights,” he said.

Ever proactive, Cormier even has a couple dates in mind for the UFC brass to consider for his next bout. “When I look at some of these cards you look at the July card, Anderson Silva and [Chris] Weidman, I think they need a co-main event. Then in August that Fox Sports 1 card, that would be pretty cool.”

Are you happy that Cormier is taking his sweet time towards a title and staying at heavyweight for now, ‘taters? And what do you think of a Nelson vs. Cormier match up?

- Elias Cepeda

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Uncle_Irish420- May 6, 2013 at 11:01 am
@Pen Fifteen...It had nothing to do with Nelson's KO of Cheick 'Me-n-the-Nuts' Kongo and everything to do with Cormier's very unimpressive win. Im not saying Nelson is gonna school him. All i'm saying is, it's MMA anything can happen.
@Onan...Not sure if you were talking to me but i never used the word "scary" in describing Nelson's jj game. However i do think it will be a good test of Cormiers'submission defense/how he handles being on top of an accomplished JJ technician. Cormier just hasn't impressed me, his little "Pussy-press" offense angainst Mir worked sure, i just think that Nelson presents a different challenge.
Prediction 1: Nelson via (t)KO 1rd
Prediction 2: Cormier UD
Uncle_Irish420- May 6, 2013 at 10:52 am
@fishtaco, I'm glad you came up for air, hugging on Cormiers balls is clearly a stuffy environment that has deprived your brain of oxygen. Ok, so Mir beat Nelson, well guess what, Mir also beat Big Nog, twice...was a heavyweight champ, twice. Nelson has beaten fair/decent competition. Who has cormier faced that was a real challenge? Don't you dare say he beat Barnett cleanly. Saying Cormier beat Barnett is like saying Bigfoot beat Browne. The Baby-faced Warmaster would have beaten Cormier if he hadnt broken his hand. Much like Browne would have wrecked Big Foot...My point being, Cormier is still untested with high-level competition.
Onan- May 6, 2013 at 8:22 am
Please stop with this line that Nelson's jiu jitsu is so scary. He hasn't submitted anyone in an MMA match since 2006. Guys see some Youtube videos of Roy in grappling tournaments and now his ground game scares people. Nelson was taken down repeatedly by Mir and I see the same thing happening against Cormier. I see Cormier doing pretty much the same thing to Nelson as he did to Mir. Press him against the cage and dirty box him and not give him any space to uncork the right hand. Throw in the occasional takedown for scoring and there's the UD win.
fishtaco- May 6, 2013 at 2:13 am
@ uncle irish your a stupid clown and must be fat. roy nelson cant beat an olympic wrestler or any good stand up fighter shit roy lost to mir thats sad.
The12ozCurls- May 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm
I'm with my man Mr_M,

I'm betting on the Ranch Dressing via consumption in round 1.
Pen Fifteen- May 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm
On the contrary, Roy is clearly the one being overrated here. What exactly was it about him beating a washed-up gatekeeper like Cheick Kongo that impressed you so much? Cormier has won his last 3 fights against top 10 guys, whereas Roy has done nothing but smash can and get beat by legit opponents throughout his UFC run.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Don't call us 'taters in front of him! He might try to dunk us in ranch dressing and eat us!
Uncle_Irish420- May 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm
I think Cormier is one of the most "over-rated" fighters in the UFC...Say what you will about his fight with Mir, but he only won because Mir was just awful that night. He didn't 'WOW' me. I'd love to see him match up against Roy "Big Gulp...i mean Country" Nelson, lets see how he does against someone with a chin thats as equally nasty as his right hand. I see Cormier wanting to take this one to the ground, where he it is made clear to him that 'Roy Can Do' Ju jitsu is pretty hard to over come, prompting him to want to keep the fight standing. This will lead the way to a Nelson win via (t)KO in the second, thus ending and derailing the hype train that is Danny Cormier