Daniel Cormier sees some similarities between Israel Adesanya’s underwhelming UFC 248 win over Yoel Romero and Anderson Silva’s slow 2010 win over Demian Maia in Abu Dhabi.
Cormier compared the two fights during a conversation with Rich Eisen, though he misremembered the setting of the Silva vs. Maia fight as Saudi Arabia.
“If you watched the fight, you saw the very first minute and a half, Yoel just kinda of stood there with his hands up,” Cormier said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “And he’s so frightening, that he almost froze Izzy without even doing or throwing anything. Honestly, it just kind of stayed that way. It was one of those fights where you kind of were anticipating the explosion, the fireworks, and it just never came. You got 25 minutes of, essentially cat-and-mouse. It was just weird.
“It reminds me of a fight way back in the day, Anderson Silva fought in Saudi Arabia and it was one of the nights that just did not turn out to be what everyone expected.”
Cormier continued to discuss the Adesanya vs. Romero fight, explaining that he doesn’t fault Adesanya for the slow nature of the contest.
“I don’t [blame Adesanya for the lackluster fight],” Cormier said. “When you fight Yoel Romero, a guy that has knocked out so many people, a guy that has really fought in that same exact way but finds ways to end fights with one action, you cannot think that Izzy would just go in there and be reckless. I’ve never seen anyone do it. He did what he had to do. This guy’s the champion. He’s a guy that if you’re willing to engage, he’ll give you your type of fight. But Yoel Romero’s not a guy that you want to be out there being reckless with. He’s just too dangerous. The risk is not worth the danger.”
Cormier also discussed the impact this slow victory will have on Adesanya’s potential transformation into a superstar. He doesn’t see it being an issue.
“I think that he can be as big a star as you have in the UFC,” Cormier said. “Some guys just have it. Like you said, it just radiates off of him. You just see it. From the moment he walks to the octagon, he officially marked his territory. You saw a young kid who had never done anything, become a champion in like a year. That doesn’t happen very often in the UFC and I think this was just one of those nights. Anderson Silva, it did not really affect his legacy having that fight in Saudi Arabia and I think that’s going to be the case with Izzy. He’s just going to move forward and his next fight is guaranteed to deliver because the guy he’s fighting, Paulo Costa, has never been in a fight like you saw Izzy have last week.”
What do you make of these comments from Daniel Cormier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/11/2020.