On April 8th, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will step into the Octagon to fight light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson in a highly anticipated rematch between two light heavyweight superstars. In the pair’s first meeting Cormier secured the vacant light heavyweight title as he submitted Johnson in the third round. Ahead of his Anthony Johnson rematch however, Cormier has boldly stated that he has every intention of standing and trading strikes with ‘Rumble’.
With that being said of course, many members of the MMA community have begun to doubt Cormier’s chances of winning after hearing of his intentions to stand and trade with Johnson. Cormier spoke on The MMA Hour to explain why he is more than okay with being doubted:
“I love the doubt, man. I love the fact that I get doubt,” Cormier explained. “Jon Anik is my buddy, and Jon is a big, big (betting) lines guy. So every time Anthony and I are supposed to fight, the lines come out, and it’s like we’re dead even. It’s like people don’t know what to make of a fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, when in reality it should be very easy to know what to make of a fight between me and Anthony Johnson. But everybody seems to question me in regards to fighting that man. And you know, I like the guy. He’s a great guy. I think he’s a nice guy, he’s a gentleman, he’s always nice, he’s always friendly. But in terms of us competitively, in the world I live in, he doesn’t beat me.
“He’ll still be able to fight for about 10 minutes, and then we’ll be good to go,” Cormier added. “There’s a difference in the training styles and the fighting styles of my team and his team. Right? So you saw Michael Johnson really get his hands on Khabib (Nurmagomedov) early, but after a while, man, that grind really starts to wear on you. And if you’re not built for it, you’re just not built for it.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/7/2017.