Cormier Won’t Challenge For Heavyweight Title
After both UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, retained their titles on Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, UFC president Dana White floated the idea of the two champions squaring off for the heavyweight crown.
Cormier has made it known that he’s not interested in returning to the heavyweight division, not only because of the size he would be giving up to almost everyone in the division, but not wanting to fight his AKA teammate Cain Velasquez.
”People have talked about that for a really long time,” Cormier said Saturday night at UFC 220’s post-fight press conference. “I did 13 fights at heavyweight and I hate cutting weight, as you guys all know. I’m the only guy who gets a rousing ovation every time he steps on the scale to make weight.”
But after moving to 20-1, with 1 no contest, after stopping Volkan Oezdemir in the second round, Cormier doubled down on the idea of not facing Miocic for the original reason he moved to light heavyweight to begin with.
After the fight, Cormier immediately talked about his gym, the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, and predicted they would have two more champions — Velasquez at heavyweight and Khabib Nurmagomedov at lightweight. At the post-fight press conference, he also mentioned Luke Rockhold, who has left California to train in Florida, noting that Cormier still considered Rockhold a teammate and best friend, and he expected him to get the middleweight title as well.
”I haven’t really thought about it,” Cormier said. “It’s hard for me now because Cain is in the gym more. Cain is in the gym getting back prepared to do what he does best. I draw so much from him. Cain had a baby about a month ago and he’s here with me now. I didn’t know if he was coming to the fight. I didn’t bother to ask him if he was coming to the fight because I didn’t know if it was possible because of the new baby.
Velasquez, unbeknownst to Cormier, showed up Wednesday afternoon in Boston.
”He was there for my weight cut,” said Cormier. “The dude’s never sauna’d, and he was dried up like a California raisin by the time we were done with that sauna. But he’s there. I draw inspiration for him. If he’s getting prepared to get that belt back, then I have nothing for that division. That’ll never change.”
Cormier also said he thinks Miocic vs. Velasquez will eventually be the biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history.
”It’s he (Miocic) and Cain, and then everybody else,” Cormier said.
“The biggest heavyweight fight we’ll ever have is when those two fight each other. I’ll never say he’s better than Cain Velasquez, but he’s good. He’s just as good. They’re even.”