Daniel Cormier has competed on big stages before. The winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix hadn't ever stepped into the octagon until UFC on Fox 7 though, and he admitted that the dreaded "UFC jitters" affected him more than he thought they would, despite defeating Frank Mir in the co-main event of the show. In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Cormier talked about how the distractions outside the cage were worse than the fight itself, and how he passed on that advice to AK A teammate Luke Rockhold:
"I told him to expect everything to be a little different. The nerves and everything surrounding the fight is going to get to you more than the actual fight."
"It's everything that happens outside the cage that affects you. And it may affect you a little bit when you step in there because you use so much energy on media obligations, the intensity of the weigh-ins, the crowd and everything, and all this other stuff, it gets into your mind, you're ultra pumped up, you're in there warming up way before you should be in there warming up and just wasting this great energy you need for the cage, and...conserve it. Conserve your energy, rein it in, and just be ready to do what you do everything you step inside the cage."
Rockhold is making his own UFC debut this weekend against Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on FX 8, and that's why Cormier was passing on the advice to him. Will Rockhold have the same issues? We'll find out on Saturday.