Daniel Cormier says he intends to emulate the gameplan Curtis Blaydes used against Alexander Volkov when he rematches Stipe Miocic on August 15.
Blaydes took on Volkov in the main event of UFC on ESPN 11 last weekend, winning a clear-cut unanimous decision with a gameplan based on relentless takedowns and top control.
Cormier, who has gone 1-1 in two previous bouts with Miocic, has previously stated that he intends to focus more on his wrestling in his upcoming tie-breaker with the reigning heavyweight champion. Given that the pair’s fight will occur in the smaller cage at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Cormier expects takedowns—particularly single legs—to be easier than normal to complete.
“I love fighting [in the small cage] at the APEX,” Cormier said on his ESPN show on Monday (transcript via MMA Fighting). “That old leg is gonna be right in front of me to grab. I’ll be like Curtis Blaydes. If you want to see a 25-minute stand-up fight, that’s not what you’re getting. I hope Stipe has his wrestling shoes, because with the small cage, single-leg, single-leg, single-leg, single-leg, wrestling. It is what it is. Sorry.”
This comment from Cormier echoes one Blaydes made ahead of his contest with Volkov. Pre-fight, Blaydes proclaimed that he had no intention to strike with Volkov, and that he instead intended to wrestle.
While Blaydes made good on this promise, his gameplan didn’t go over well with UFC President Dana White.
“I don’t have anything against the kid at all, but you know, when you talk sh*t like he did this week, then you better come in and whoop somebody’s ass if you talk sh*t like that,” White said post-fight. “When you talk the sh*t he talked and you performed the way he performed tonight, he looked stupid.”
It remains to be seen whether Cormier, a company man through-and-through, will be receive similar blowback if he uses a wrestling-heavy gameplan agains Miocic.
Whatever the case, Cormier intends to retire after his trilogy fight with Miocic. With the stakes so high, we can count on him doing whatever it takes to win—even if it’s not the most exciting viewing.
“Here’s the thing – and I want to be completely serious about this – everybody wants that moment, to be able to go out on top,” Cormier said. “But if you keep chasing it, eventually somebody’s gonna get you. So no. I want this. It doesn’t get bigger. A trilogy fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. What more could I possible be chasing?”
Do you think Daniel Cormier will reclaim the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic this August?