LAS VEGAS – On Friday, when Daniel Cormier steps onto the scale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the weigh-in for his UFC 170 co-main event against Patrick Cummins, he's confident he'll weigh in at 206 pounds. That's the light heavyweight limit for non-title matches.
But Cormier hasn't weighed 206 since 2001, he said. And he didn't weigh what he did on Wednesday since 2008, when he nearly died because of kidney failure while trying to make weight in Beijing for the first-round match in the Olympic Games.
Cormier's battle to cut from heavyweight to light heavyweight has been well-chronicled. He's done marevelously well making the cut to this point, though it wasn't without some bumps along the way.
Cormier was initially supposed to be fighting Rashad Evans on Saturday. But on Feb. 12, news broke that Evans had injured a knee and could not fight. For about 12 hours, there was no opponent and it looked like the UFC was going to pull Cormier from the card.
He was desperate to fight, but on that Wednesday night, he nearly blew. Upset and disappointed, he went to a Popeye's Chicken near his home in San Jose, Calif., to comfort himself.
"I heard I'm not fighting on Wednesday [Feb. 12] and I'm all sad, and the only thing that could ever make a Louisiana boy feel better is Popeye's," Cormier said. "So I had some. And then I freaked out the next day, and it was bad."
He found out early on Feb. 13 he'd be fighting Cummins, so he had to fess up to his nutritionist and tell him what he'd done. The nutritionist had him drank three gallons of water to flush it out of his system.
Cormier was feeling guilty after he ate it, but he admitted he enjoyed his break from training.
"Dude, I had four pieces of chicken and some Cajun rice and it was soooo good," he said. "I was hurting. I was laying on the ground hurting and I was saying, 'Oh, this is so bad,' because I hadn't eaten anything like that in so long. It was so bad. How could it taste so good and be so bad? I'm sitting there like, 'Oh my God, my stomach's killing me. It's hurting me.' But then I'm like, 'It feels so good.' "
Cormier has battled his weight much of his life. He said he's committed to changing his lifestyle, though with a caveat.
"I'm going to continue to eat [healthy] during the week," he said. "But on the weekends, I'll let loose."