If Daniel Cormier Drops to Light Heavyweight, He Could Get A Title Shot on “Day One”

MMA Weekly
Alexander Gustafsson Not Likely, Daniel Cormier Wants a Contender for First Fight at 205 Pounds
Alexander Gustafsson Not Likely, Daniel Cormier Wants a Contender for First Fight at 205 Pounds

UFC heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier has a decision to make.  Will he stay at heavyweight or drop down to the 205-pound division?

“I’m going to get with my team this week and we’re going to make a decision,” said Cormier on Tuesday’s edition of UFC Tonight on Fuel TV.

Cormier (12-0) won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.  He’s undefeated and ranked at No. 2 in the official UFC Rankings behind former champion Junior dos Santos.  The problem with deciding to remain at heavyweight, however, is who sits atop the division, Cain Velasquez.

Cormier and Velasquez are friends and training partners and have stated many times that they will not fight each other.  As long as Velasquez has the belt, Cormier will not fight for a heavyweight title.

The former Olympic wrestler is on the smaller end of the spectrum in the heavyweight division and has entertained the thought of dropping down to the 205-pound weight class for a long time.

Following his final Strikeforce fight in Janurary, Cormier suggested he was making the move following one last heavyweight bout.

“I’m gonna let Jon (Jones) defend his belt on April 27 and then I’m gonna kick his ass in the fall,” said Cormier after his TKO win over Dion Staring at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. 

Following his UFC debut win over former heavyweight titleholder Frank Mir on April 20, Cormier has backed off those comments.

“My first fight at 205, I’d like it to not be for the belt, and I would like a very high level guy,” he said on UFC Tonight.

“I’m thinking about both weight divisions.  I’ve been watching the rankings.  I want to fight someone that actually advances my career,” said the 34-year-old.  “Big fights is what I’m interested in whether it be at heavyweight, whether it be at 205, it doesn’t matter.”

Cormier’s decision could be influenced by comments made by UFC president Dana White on Thursday during a UFC 159 media day at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“I actually prefer him (Cormier) at 205,” said White.  “He could drop to 205 and get a shot at the title in my opinion… day one.  Look at the guys he’s beat at heavyweight.”

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