Daniel Cormier impressed how Umar Nurmagomedov fought on instinct after knockdown at UFC Fight Night 238

Daniel Cormier had high praise for how Umar Nurmagomedov handled adversity at UFC Fight Night 238.

Nurmagomedov (17-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) was knocked down early by newcomer Bekzat Almakhan in their main card bout Saturday but rallied to dominate him on the ground for the unanimous decision win.

Cormier, a training partner of Nurmagomedov’s, said the undefeated contender was badly rocked by Almakhan, but used his wrestling instincts to survive.

“I was talking to him in the octagon, and I showed him the video. I said, ‘How hurt were you by the punch from Almakhan?'” Cormier said on his ESPN show “Good Guy/Bad Guy” with Chael Sonnen. “He goes, ‘I don’t really know,’ and I showed him. And he goes, ‘Now I understand.’ The dude didn’t even recognize that he had gotten hurt as bad as he did. He got knocked down early in the fight, looked at the replay, and for the first time was recognizing what happened to him. So what that tells me, and this to me is what’s most impressive, he did that all on instinct. As a competitor myself, I have given up takedowns, I have gotten hit with things in the fight.

“When I went to my stool after Anthony Johnson knocked me down to the floor, I was thinking about the start of the next round to make sure that it didn’t happen again. Umar Nurmagomedov never went back there. He never remembered it, so I think it’s so impressive that he was able to operate on pure instinct for the next 13 minutes, and he was able to operate without going back to that moment. That’s very impressive, and I think him being able to do all that without any thought, makes him very dangerous for anyone in the weight class.”

Nurmagomedov called for his fight with Cory Sandhagen to be rebooked, as he continues his struggle to land a ranked opponent.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 238.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie