The biggest fight on UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier’s horizon is a showdown with former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. That said, Lesnar isn’t likely to be available until at least January, which has Cormier considering a light heavyweight title defense in the meantime — against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
“Maybe I’ll go fight Shogun, that would be good,” Cormier said on a recent episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I am serious, maybe I will go fight Shogun. He has won a lot of fights in a row.”
“You know what? That’s who I want to fight, if Shogun wins, I want to fight Shogun,” he added. “That’s who I’m fighting. I will go fight Shogun because he is a legend, he’s a great guy. I will go fight Shogun and then I will fight Brock Lesnar because [Jon] Jones isn’t going to be back, I don’t think. I am at peace with that.”
This plan from Cormier, however, ignores one key detail: Shogun is currently booked for a UFC Hamburg main event clash with the dangerous Anthony Smith, and there is no guarantee that the Brazilian legend wins this fight.
As it turns out, Anthony Smith was not happy to be glossed over by Cormier.
“I don’t know what’s going on with Daniel Cormier,” Smith recently told Fightful’s James Lynch (transcribed by Nick Baldwin for BloodyElbow). “He’s been saying recently that he thinks Shogun is next in line, completely dismissing the fact that Shogun has to fight me. I’m not sure what DC’s problem is. He’s smarter than that. He’s an analyst. He knows that anybody can lose at any point in time. He’s also smart enough to know that I’m more than capable of walking right through Shogun. He knows that that’s a possibility.
“For him to completely dismiss me, number one, it pisses me off. Number two, it also puts me in a position where, if you think Shogun is next in line and I go in and starch Shogun, what does that say? Me and you are together now, bitch.”
“It does put a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, because DC is one of the first guys that bitches and complains about being overlooked and people not taking him seriously,” Smith continued. “But he’s the first person to dismiss people. It’s real easy to sit behind your desk and talk about how you’re not respected, and in the same damn sentence completely disrespect and look over somebody. He’ll look at this, he’ll ignore it, and he’ll pretend like I don’t exist, but regardless, DC knows that the Shogun fight is the gimmick.”
Do you think we’ll see Daniel Cormier in the cage with Anthony Smith before he retires?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/13/2018.