Daniel Cormier Plans Long Diet, Staying Busy at Heavyweight During Drop to Light Heavyweight
Daniel Cormier has decided he can have his cake and eat it, too… but while laying off the cake.
The UFC fighter plans to drop to light heavyweight, but still fight at heavyweight for the time being. His decision was announced in a report made by BleacherReport.com.
He first made the MMA world aware of his intent to compete in the 205-pound division by calling out UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones after his final fight in Strikeforce at the promotion’s farewell event in January. Also, his main training partner, Cain Velasquez, has become the UFC heavyweight champion since then. The two have stated they do not desire to fight one another. At a height of 5’10” tall, his frame does seem to be better suited for the lower weight class.
However, he has achieved great success in his short MMA career at heavyweight and he previously had difficulties with weight cutting during his wrestling career.
Following his UFC on FOX 7 win over Frank Mir, the Strikeforce Grand Prix champion was asked at the event’s post-fight press conference whether he would stay at heavyweight or cut to the division below. At the time, he was unsure, but said he still had light heavyweight in his sights. Days later, the fighter said he was going to talk to UFC President Dana White and his team at American Kickboxing Academy that week and come to a decision. It appears he now plans to start his cut by dieting, but will drop the weight progressively and fight once or twice at heavyweight while he slims down.
"I always thought if I were to go down, I would need a lot of time to do it. I think that still applies, but I would like to still fight," Cormier told Bleacher Report. "At the end of the day, I can't cut massive amounts of weight. That's well-documented from my problems in the Olympic Games. But I can diet, and when I'm dieting I can still fight. Can I fight at 205? No, because it's too much weight to cut in a short period of time. But could I fight a heavyweight fight and just be a little lighter? I think so."
Cormier plans on booking his next fight at heavyweight during his diet because staying idle during the time it would take to lose the weight would be too long of a layoff.
"Yeah, because it keeps me busy, I'm still getting to fight and still gaining experience," Cormier said about staying at heavyweight for now. "At the end of the day, I'm still very early in my career."
White has mentioned his interest in a potential fight between Cormier and TUF 10 winner Roy Nelson. Cormier welcomes such a matchup.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) April 28, 2013
If his next fight is not against Nelson that is fine by him. Cormier is simply focused on big fights with the best guys around.
"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."
At the end of the day, Cormier’s ultimate goal is a UFC championship. He has no preference for which weight class it comes in, but right now the pursuit of UFC gold is best served in another division. He does not see AKA teammate Velasquez losing the title any time soon.
"They're not beating Cain. They're not good enough," Cormier said about the heavyweight division. "I'm telling you right now I think they're great, I think Junior dos Santos is great. I think Junior dos Santos has the best chance of beating Cain, but the rest, they're not beating him. They're not good enough. It's about as honest as I can be with you—they're not good enough to beat him."
With his intentions to keep fighting at heavyweight and to stay busy, Cormier is looking to return sometime late this summer and with a high billing preference.
"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," said Cormier. "Any of the big cards I would love to be a part of."