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Tag: Daniel Cormier

Battle of the Bulge: Big Country Nelson vs. Daniel Cormier a Go for UFC 166


(How fucked up is it that *this* is the #1 search result when you type “Roy Nelson clean shaven” into Google? Photo via Getty.) 

Update: The matchup has been formally announced as the co-main event for UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3.

In the weeks leading up to his scrap with Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, it appeared as if Roy Nelson would be headed for the greener pastures of an MMA promotion that wasn’t run by a guy who hates his fat ass. In the days following Nelson’s three round trouncing at the hands of Miocic, it was the general consensus that Bellator was a CHICK’N Crisp sandwich away from luring in one of MMA’s top heavyweights at a steal of a price. So how does Nelson now find himself in line to fight Daniel Cormier, a former Strikeforce champion who is coming off a (tepid) win over Frank Mir in his UFC debut?

Perhaps we should step back for a second. You see, prior to UFC 161, Nelson had strung together a nice little three-fight win streak (all via KO) and was looking to break himself off a piece of that Daniel Cormier hype. Imploring the classic UFC strategy of declaring that the fight “wouldn’t make sense,” then trying to turn it into a #1 contender fight for another division’s title, then bringing race into the equation, Nelson was able to successfully troll his way into a fight with Cormier despite coming off a loss. Huzzah! The likelihood of this fight coming to fruition is all dependent, of course, on how Nelson’s contract negotiations with the UFC go, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.

Then again, you could argue that Nelson was more impressive in defeat than Cormier was in victory based purely on the amount of shots he was able to absorb without being knocked out. It would be an insane argument to make, but hey, Tim Sylvia would probably have your back. In either case, the pair is tentatively set to throw down at UFC 166, which goes down on October 19th in Houston, Texas.

In other fight booking news…

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MMA Diet Guru Mike Dolce Says Rampage Jackson Was a Candy-Cheatin’ Nightmare, And He Could Get Cormier Down to 205 ‘This Friday’


(If this is a bad time, Mike, we can come back later | Photo via CombatLifestyle)

We just read a Q&A between the Las Vegas Sun and strength, conditioning, and diet specialist Mike Dolce — he prefers the term “performance coach” — and you should too. Dolce has worked with some of the biggest names in MMA in recent years, helping them get healthy and, notably, drop tons of weight before fights.

In the interview, Dolce discusses up-and-coming clients of his, who he thinks will become world champions next, his toughest projects ever, what his plan for Daniel Cormier is, and more. Check out some highlights below and then head over to the Sun to read the rest.

On Chael Sonnen, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and the toughest weight cut Dolce has ever overseen:

Chael was 233 pounds six weeks before the Michael Bisping fight. To go from 233 to 185 in six weeks is insane. The hardest issue — I would have to say Rampage is the hardest I’ve ever had to deal with. Not because he was the biggest or heaviest because he wasn’t. I helped Duane Ludwig lose 42 pounds in 13 days to fight Jim Miller on short notice here in Las Vegas. He went from 198 to 156 in 13 days with my coaching. It took eight weeks to do the same with Quinton.

Now it was so much easier with Duane because Duane is a professional; he’s a good guy with a big heart. He just got down to the business of working with no complaints, no objections, no obstacles. Some of these other guys, Rampage being one of them, everything was a challenge. He’s shown that not just with myself but with every business deal he’s ever been in.

On what made Jackson such a “challenging” client before his 2010 fight against Rashad Evans:

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MMA Moron Week Continues: Roy Nelson Gets Racial, Says Daniel Cormier Pulled an “Uncle Tom Move”


(Is Cormier an “Uncle Tom”? Absolutely not. But you can’t deny his talents as a mandingo fighter./ Image via ExiledOnline.com)

By George Shunick

Jesus Christ, it hasn’t even been 24 hours since a notable MMA figure said something unbelievably stupid. Yet here we are again. This time the culprit is Roy Nelson, who called fellow UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier an “Uncle Tom” during an interview with Ariel Helwani. As BloodyElbow summarizes:

Ariel brought up Daniel Cormier’s recent statements that he wants to kick Nelson’s ass in part “for Dana White.” Nelson went a bizarre direction with his response, stating “Having a lot of black friends. They would say that would be more of an Uncle Tom move.”

Pushed to expand on what made it an “Uncle Tom move,” Nelson laughed and said “That’s what my friends were saying. And I was just like ‘wow!’ Hey it is what it is. You gotta do what you can do for the boss.”

Wow, indeed. While I’m not one to try to rank the degrees of horribleness between different ways of denigrating an entire people…yeah, this is probably the worst thing that’s been uttered this week by pretty much any public figure in American sports. And Nelson — who is managed by Mike Kogan‘s RealTalk Entertainment, by the way — has no lack of competition.

If you’re unaware of what the phrase “Uncle Tom” means and what the implications of its use are, go ahead and brush up on that. Of course, this isn’t the first instance of “Uncle Tom” being used in pugilistic trash talk — Muhammad Ali famously taunted Joe Frazier with the epithet during their rivalry. Afterwards, Frazier would take pride in his contributions to Ali’s physical and mental decline. So despite the fact that Ali had “a lot of black friends” himself, even he couldn’t get away with it.

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Daniel Cormier Answers Fans’ Questions at UFC 160 Q&A


(Video via MMA Heat)

It’s been a minute since Daniel Cormier made his successful UFC debut with a unanimous decision win over former champ Frank Mir. This week, DC engaged in the personal fan press conference exercise that is the UFC Fan Club Q&A when he fielded questions from folks in Las Vegas to see UFC 160.

During the Q&A, Cormier discusses dissapointing himself in the Mir fight, UFC jitters, teammate Luke Rockhold‘s recent loss, facing Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and what changes he’s planning to make in his lifestyle in order to one day fight at 205 pounds. It’s an at-length, fun and sometimes intimate session with “DC” so enjoy.

- Elias Cepeda

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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.

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Wait, So Now Roy Nelson Wants to Fight Daniel Cormier for a Shot at the Light Heavyweight Title?


(Man, the Jack Links people are gonna be pissed when they realize their mascot is jumping ship for Subway.) 

Alright, so we all know that Daniel Cormier is fat. And, of course, we all also know that fat people are what Roy Nelson eats for his three squares each day. Preferably after they’ve been dipped in a vat of sausage gravy and deep fried.

The guy’s big.

As such, fans and fighters alike have often wondered aloud if the two would be better suited at a lighter weight class – say, light heavyweight. However, both guys continue to kick ass at heavyweight, which kinda makes it hard to say that they should feel a sense of urgency to drop a weight class (except, you know, so as not to die in ten years from a heart attack, Roy).

Nelson is coming off a knockout of professional Greek Statue Model, Cheick Kongo, and Cormier just dominated his second former UFC heavyweight champion. There has been talk of the two facing each other next. But there’s also been talk, mainly from Dana White, that Cormier could get an automatic shot at champion Jon Jones should he choose to drop down to 205lbs.

At first, it seemed liked both Nelson and Cormier were down to face one another, but then “Big Country’s” manager made him look like a chicken – a succulent, golden-fried chicken — by nixing the proposed matchup. Fortunately, Nelson spoke with Bloody Elbow recently and cleared things up once and for all. We guess.

As far Daniel [Cormier], I think the reason Mike, my manager, said anything about Daniel is because he’s supposed be getting an immediate title shot at 205. If he’s going down to 205, it doesn’t really make any sense to fight him, unless we’re going to fight for a 205 contendership. Then hey, we can do that, too. 

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Roy Nelson’s Manager Says a Fight With Daniel Cormier Wouldn’t Make Sense


(Y’know, drinking a gallon of buttermilk every morning doesn’t make much sense either, but that never stopped him from doing it. / Photo via Joshua Wood @ MMAValor)

Roy Nelson‘s knockout of Cheick Kongo last weekend marked his third first-round KO victory in a row, and earned Big Country the first three-fight win streak of his UFC career — which means that the UFC has to start treating him like a legitimate heavyweight contender again, rather than a gray-bearded novelty act. So who’s next on Big Country’s menu? Following UFC 159, Dana White suggested that either Mark Hunt or Daniel Cormier could be the next opponent for Nelson, which makes perfect sense if we’re putting together matchups solely based on body type.

Nelson’s camp, however, doesn’t agree with one of those names. According to a report from Ariel Helwani earlier this week, Nelson’s manager Mike Kogan said he’s not interested in a fight against Cormier. “He doesn’t think it makes any sense for Nelson,” Helwani explained on UFC Tonight. Instead, Kogan would prefer Nelson to fight Hunt, Antonio Silva (if he loses to Cain Velasquez at UFC 160), or Junior dos Santos…despite the fact that Dos Santos already slaughtered Nelson back in 2010.

It’s obvious why the Nelson camp would want to avoid a guy like Cormier — he’s incredibly dangerous, but he still doesn’t carry the same name value as the other UFC vets that Kogan mentioned. And let’s face it, Nelson’s odds of beating Hunt or Bigfoot are a lot better than his odds of beating DC. (Let’s just forget Kogan said anything about Dos Santos. That’s a damn suicide mission, and we all know it.) From a managerial perspective, it’s solid advice. Devil’s advocate, though: Cormier is rightly ranked as the #2 contender according to the UFC’s official rankings, and beating him would place Nelson closer to a heavyweight title shot than a win over Hunt or Antonio Silva would.

Personally I think Nelson vs. Cormier makes dollars and sense. See what I did there? DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH??? Anyway, let us know how you see it in the comments section.

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Dana White: Cormier Deserving of Automatic Light Heavyweight Title Shot


(Photo by Esther Lin | FCFighter.com)

For as long as he’s been short, chubby and kicking ass in the heavyweight division (approximately, since forever since), fans, pundits and Daniel Cormier himself have openly discussed the possibility of his dropping down a weight class to light heavyweight. DC is fresh off a dominating win over yet another former UFC heavyweight champion in Frank Mir at the UFC on Fox 7 event but the organization’s President, Dana White, says that he’d rather see the two-time Olympian at light heavyweight.

And, oh yeah, if Cormier does decide to cut back on the deep-fried burritos a tad and drop down to 205 pounds, White says that his first fight in the division could very well be for the belt. So, you know, against Chael Sonnen.

“He could drop to 205 and get a shot at the title in my opinion, on day one,” White told a group of assembled media earlier this week in New York. “Look at the guys he’s beat at heavyweight.”

Cormier has recently weighed in for fights in the 230′s. Aside from the fact that he’s got the height of a lightweight, 230 pounds is actually light in the strange, modern world of gigantic super athletes that we live in.

Frank Mir looked like he could have been Cormier’s daddy when they took the center of the cage last week. That is, until Cormier got his hands on his much larger opponent and made him look like a heavily tattooed read-headed step child.

There’s the rub. Cormier has a tiny frame for heavyweight but he so far has found no one that can touch him, including Mir, fellow former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and current number one contender Antonio Silva.

So, why should the wrestler-turned-fighter try and fix something that ain’t broke? Also, it is well-documented that Cormier missed out on actually wrestling at the 2004 Olympic games despite being the U.S. team’s captain and being favored to medal, because he nearly killed himself trying to cut weight.

The “Wake up and Grind” warrior is doing well at heavyweight, so why should he risk his life cutting down? Thing is, there’s no real reason to believe he’d have to risk his health to cut down to light heavyweight.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez’ Edition


(“Well, Joe, I’d just like to thank God for giving me the strength to-OH SHIT HERE COMES THE REST OF ‘EM.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Let us begin this week’s edition of the Armchair Matchmaker with a few fun facts about last Saturday’s UFC on FOX 7 event

-With eight (T)KO’s, UFC on FOX 7 tied UFC 92 for the most (T)KO finishes in a single UFC event in the promotion’s history.

-In defeating Jordan Mein via second round TKO, the resurgent Matt Brown now holds the third longest win streak (5) amongst active UFC welterweights, as well as the record for (T)KO finishes in the welterweight division. Yet incredibly, the FOTN check Brown received was the first end of the night bonus he has earned in some 15 UFC fights.

-Frank Mir, like, really dropped the ball against Daniel Cormier.

Now, using those absolute truths and a little speculation, let’s decide who the biggest winners and losers from UFC on FOX 7 should face next, shall we?

The Winners

Ben Henderson: Well, we already know who he’ll be facing next, so that one is pretty easy. The question now becomes: How do you see Bendo taking it? Split decision, unanimous decision, or the always rare majority decision?

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UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson? Frank Mir Earns as Much as Benson Henderson.


Since we can only post so many “U Mad?” GIFs in one day, this will have to suffice.

The UFC paid out a total of $1,518,000 in disclosed salaries and end of the night bonuses to the fighters on last night’s UFC on Fox 7, according to the California State Athletic Commission. Both former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson took home $200,000 for their performances last night, making them the two highest paid fighters on the card. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took home the evening’s third-highest disclosed salary at $175,000.

The entire disclosed payroll is below, via MMA Junkie. Keep in mind that the following figures account for neither sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” nor do they include deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees. Also, since there were no submissions on the card, two fighters took home a Knockout of the Night bonus.

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $145,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $110,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus and $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $66,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Chad Mendes
: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury
: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Hugo Viana: $8,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $10,000

Anthony Njorkuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $70,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Clifford Starks: $8,000

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