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?