BJPenn.Com Exclusive: Daniel Cormier Discusses Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen & UFC 151
Daniel Cormier is preparing to face former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in what will be the biggest fight of his three year mixed martial arts career. Cormier is certainly no stranger to success having twice made the US Olympic team and having won gold medals in the 2002 Pan American Championships and the 2003 Pan American Games. Let’s not forget the fact that he just won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship by defeating a tough veteran in Josh Barnett.
When the fight with Mir was announced it sent shock waves the MMA world as it will be the first time that a UFC fighter will crossover and fight in the Strikeforce cage since Zuffa purchased the San Jose based organization. Although no date or venue has been announced Cormier isn’t wasting any time getting ready for a fighter of Mir’s caliber. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day and Cormier plans on making the most of it. With that being said he is still a fan and he weighed in on UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.
“Right now no one wants to fight Jon Jones, but shit I’ll do it, I’ll fight Jon Jones,” Cormier told BJPenn.Com. “Guys are turning down the fight; you have to go to an old school fighter like Vitor Belfort to step up to the plate. That’s no knock on Machida or Shogun, but if those guys want to coach on The Ultimate Fighter and move off to the side and let me fight Jones, I’ll do it. If no one wants the title shot then give it to Daniel!”
Cormier was shocked when he heard that UFC 151 was canceled and he gave a hypothetical answer about what he would do had he had been in a similar situation. It’s not an easy answer for anyone who is not Jon Jones, but Cormier believes Jones could’ve fought Chael Sonnen and beaten him even though he only had eight days to prepare for the change in opponent.
“Dan predominately stands-up while Chael wrestles a little bit more,” offered Cormier. “But my idea is this and this is the God’s honest truth, Jones can fight anyone on eight days notice, he’s that good. With that being said I think he should’ve taken the fight. If you listened to what Rashad Evans said it was kind of Jones’ obligation to the UFC to stop the cancellation of the card. They’ve gotten behind him, I mean obviously his skills are what have gotten him a long way, but they have pushed him out to the front. They have made him a lot of money and put him in big fights. I’m almost 100% sure without knowing they played a hand in him landing the deal with Nike. There are a lot of reasons why he should have taken the fight, but the main one is he could have beaten 98% of the guys in the world on eight days notice.”
Sonnen has gone from being a villain to a hero almost overnight. After nearly two years of throwing verbal daggers at UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Sonnen set his target squarely on the back of Jones and in doing so almost got himself another shot at a UFC championship and has changed a lot of fans opinions about him all because he was willing to step-up and save the day. He also knows why Anderson Silva has been on top as long as he has.
“Chael is a smart guy, he’s no idiot. He saw a situation and he attacked it,” Cormier said while laughing. “He’s fought for a long time and wants to be involved in big fights, so what does he do? He goes after the biggest guy available. In his last four fights he has fought Anderson Silva twice, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, you add Jon Jones to that list and that’s pretty impressive. He does a great job of putting himself in situations where he gets big fights, but you have to remember he’ll always be a fighter first and foremost. He lays it on the line every time. He lost to the best in the world in Silva who is a beast. When a guy works as hard as Silva has for as long as he has, it’s not easy to knock him off.”