An immediate fight against a top contender makes sense for Daniel Cormier’s light heavyweight debut.
But a match in Europe against Alexeander Gustafsson is off the table, as far as DC is concerned.
On Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight, the undefeated former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament champion explained why he wants to have his first fight at 205 pounds here in the United States.
“I have no problem fighting Alexander Gustafsson, not at all,” Cormier said. “The one thing I’m concerned about, being that its going to be my first time down at 205, I know that Gustafsson is going to fight in Europe somewhere. Whether it’s Sweden or somewhere else in Europe, I don’t want to be making my first weight cut down to 205 overseas. I know what I’m going to need, I want to find saunas here in the United States and all the food that I’m comfortable with in order to make the weight.”
So with Gustafsson, one of the few names all but guaranteed to sell out a European arena, apparently a no-go, who does that leave? Several top light heavyweights already have matchups lined up. But among the bigger names without a dance partner are Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
“Those are all big fights,” Cormier said. “These are the fights that matter. I’m going to need if I’m going to put myself in position to win the championship. I want to fight for the title, man. That was the reason I went. I thought that was going to be my first fight. It doesn’t seem that way, in the division I’ve moved on. To me, L’ll Nog, that makes a great fight. Any of those guys, I want a big fight.”
Cormier also took a moment to reflect on an eventful night at UFC 166 on Saturday. Cormier scored a one-sided unanimous decision over Roy Nelson in the co-main event, then turned right around and cornered heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez for his fight with Junior dos Santos.
“Going into the Octagon and doing what I was supposed to do against Roy Nelson, that was a big part of my night,” Cormier said. “But to go back in Cain Velasquez’s corner go back watch my friend Cain Velasquez retain his title? That makes it something, man. Went back, threw my shirt on, and watched Cain put on a great show.”