Daniel Cormier is set to face off against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champ “Sugar” Rashad Evans as the co-main event at UFC 170. This bout will be Cormier’s light heavyweight debut as he has dropped a weight class in search of a title for himself. The event is scheduled to take place a the Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 22.
Cormier is very aware of the challenge set before him in his bout with Evans. He just feels like the former champ isn’t going to be able to take him down. Cormier, a former Olympic wrester, is a more decorated grappler than most anyone on the UFC roster. Not Rashad, or Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones even, can say that.
Cormier was very confident in his statements regarding what Rashad would be able to accomplish in their upcoming bout, and scoring a takedown was not one of them.
“I’m not going to be taken down,” Cormier said. “I spent a lifetime developing that skill and I’m not getting taken down. When I look at a fight against another wrestler, this is how I approach it. In the sport that we all chose, I got to the top. People don’t just quit wrestling. You stop because you hit the end of the road, whereas I just continued to go.”
“So in the sport I chose, Rashad chose, Jon Jones chose, and the rest of those guys chose, I went to the top of that sport,” Cormier continued. “So no, I’m not getting taken down.”
Regarding a title shot, Cormier is well aware that Alexander Gustafsson is most likely next in line. And if he is able to claim a victory against Jimi Manuwa then Gustafsson will most likely get a title shot before him. However, Cormier feels that with a victory over Rashad, he should have no problems getting a title shot of his own.
“I think some things have to happen, with Gustafsson fighting as well as he did last time he probably will get a championship fight first,” Cormier said. “But if I fight well enough, anything can happen. Nothing is promised in the UFC. If I fight well enough I hope to get the title shot.”
If Cormier is able to get the victory over Evans it will mark the third former champion that Cormier has defeated in a two year span. He already has victories over former Heavyweight Champs Josh Barnett and Frank Mir.
“I kind of think my resume speaks for itself,” Cormier said. “If I beat Rashad, he will be my third UFC champion in a row and my fifth win in the top 10. Most guys don’t have to win that many times in a row to get a championship fight.”
Daniel is not naive to the fact that he is being pit up against one of the larger names in the Light Heavyweight division. And he realized that a win over Rashad will put a staple on the fact that he is a force in this weight class.
“To fight a guy like Rashad, it says a lot about what I’ve done so far,” Cormier said. “You don’t get to fight those type of guys. Those guys are reserved for the best guys. Fights against Rashad Evans, you don’t just get those. You have to earn those fights and I’ve earned that fight. it tells me a lot of what the UFC thinks about what I’ve done so far and where I want to go, because if I win this fight, it’s going to be very hard to ignore what I’ve done.”
All quotes via MMAFighting.comTags: Alexander Gustafsson, daniel cormier, jon jones, Rashad Evans, ufc 170