For a guy with just one UFC win under his belt, Daniel Cormier has made a heck of an impression on Dana White. The UFC president is ready to book the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champ in an immediate title shot should he decide to move down to Light Heavyweight.
Cormier took a unanimous decision over Frank Mir at his UFC on Fox 7 debut in the Octagon.
At yesterday's UFC 159 pre-fight media scrum, White talked about where he'd like to see Cormier:"He could drop to 205 and get a shot at the title in my opinion, on day one," he said. "Look at the guys he's beat at heavyweight. I actually prefer him at 205," he said. "This heavyweight division isn't like other heavyweight divisions. And in saying that, he beat Josh Barnett. That's a big deal. I just don't think he has the punching power at heavyweight that he'd have at 205."
The 34-year-old Cormier is 12-0 with 5 KO's and 3 submission as a professional mixed martial artist. All of his fights have been in the Heavyweight class. The 5'9" Cormier wrecked his kidneys attempting a drastic weight cut at the 2008 Olympics and is leery of attempting further big weight cuts.
He has weighed in at 235, 230 and 238 in his last three fights. If he wants to make the 205lb limit he will need to diet down quite a bit, possibly needing to lose as much as 20 pounds. He was attempting to cut down from more than 250lbs to 211lbs in 2008 when he damaged his kidneys.
Cormier's latest comments on the move were non-committal, "I'm thinking about both weight divisions. I've been watching the rankings and I want to fight someone who actually advances my career. I'm interested in big fights. I'm getting with my team this week and to make a decision."
His relationship with AKA teammate and UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez seemingly limits Cormier's ceiling at HW although he's said he'd be willing to fight his friend for the title. Velasquez, however has been emphatic about not wanting to face his training partner.