Daniel Cormier on fighting Rashad Evans, the man he tried to base his career on

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Daniel Cormier will make his light heavyweight debut at UFC 170, facing Rashad Evans the man he looked to for inspiration when beginning his MMA career

Daniel Cormier made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2009. He won that fight by second round technical knockout. Since then he's added 12 more victories to his record, never once tasting defeat. On February 22 he will drop from heavyweight to light heavyweight to meet former UFC champion Rashad Evans in the co-main event of UFC 170.

By the time Cormier had made his professional debut, Evans had been fighting professionally for six years and had put together a record of 15-1-1. He had also won and lost the UFC light heavyweight title.

Evans' accomplishments inside and outside the Octagon were not lost on Cormier who recently spoke at a media luncheon about the upcoming fight. Cormier revealed that when he began to get involved in MMA, Evans provided the model that he sought to emulate, "I really did try and base my career off what he did. Not only in the cage, but outside of the cage in terms of TV stuff, appearance stuff, everything. I tried to base my career off the most successful guy I saw, and it was Evans."

Knowing that he will soon be stepping into the cage to face Evans is something that Cormier is not taking lightly, "It'll be a difficult fight, but when it boils down to it, I've got a goal that I want to accomplish, and this is just another obstacle in the way of me getting to where I need to be.

I really do care about the guy, but I know on that day Rashad Evans is going to try and beat me and take away everything that I worked for for four years now, and I can't allow that to happen."

Evans is currently ranked No. 3 in the UFC's light heavyweight division. Cormier who will debut at 205 pounds against Evans is unranked at light heavyweight, but holds that No. 4 spot in the heavyweight rankings.

UFC 170 will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The main event on the card will see UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defend her title against No. 3 ranked Sara McMann.

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