Daniel Cormier dominated Roy Nelson for three rounds in the UFC 166 co-main event, earning a unanimous decision win but not pleasing the crowd nearly as much as the instant classic that preceded it. Cormier improved to 13-0 on the strength of repeated takedowns, excellent defensive footwork and nasty punch combinations to the cinderblock head of “Big Country.”
“I can take a punch and I can get out of the way of punches,” Cormier said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
“This was better than last but not the best,” he went on. “I’m going to continue to get better.”
Even before his teammate and UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez stepped into the ring tonight to defend his title, Cormier solidified himself as the next number one contender. The two-time Olympic wrestler insists that he’s on his way down to light heavyweight, however.
“I’m going to be at 205 my next fight,” Cormier said.
“There’s a guy on my mind. I think I’m going to have to do some work but I’m going to be the champion eventually.”
The man on Cormier’s mind is likely light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, with whom he has had a beef with for the past couple years. UFC president Dana White has said that Cormier has earned a shot at the belt should he drop down in weight.
But Jones has Glover Teixeira on his plate next and, perhaps a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson after that should he get past the Brazilian. Perhaps neither Gustafsson nor Cormier will have to wait around too long to fight again if the UFC pairs the two of them up in a number one contender’s bout.