Daniel Cormier on Rashad Evans fight: 'I can't go into the cage feeling like I don't want to hurt my buddy'

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Daniel Cormier and Rashad Evans are friends, but he says he can't go into the cage with his focus not on winning.

The announcement that Daniel Cormier's return to the cage would come against Rashad Evans at UFC 170 was a minor surprise, but it was also a nice one. Cormier's drop from heavyweight down to light heavyweight is going to come with an immediate big test, even if Rashad may have fallen off a bit since his peak years.

The bout is a strange one for Cormier, however. He explained that facing his friend is going to be a bit of a challenge on The MMA Hour (transcription via MMA Mania):

"I offered them (UFC) up a whole bunch of different scenarios and this was the fight that was going to happen. I would have preferred to fight someone else, but the UFC are going to make the fights and its our job to fight. I care about him a ton and I think he's a great guy, but now it's time to get down to business and were going to get in that cage and I have to try and hurt him. I can't go into the cage feeling like I don't want to hurt my buddy because otherwise he is going to hurt me and beat me and that will set me back and keep me from obtaining my goals."

Cormier is coming off dominant decision wins over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson in his two fights since moving to the UFC following the closure of Strikeforce. Those wins moved his career mark to 13-0 and many fans have spent the last few years calling for him to drop to 205 where he may be even better as he stands a few inches short of six feet tall.

Evans is on a two fight win streak, having picked up a somewhat controversial split decision win over Dan Henderson before thoroughly dismantling Chael Sonnen via first round TKO at UFC 167.

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