When Daniel Cormier fought Anthony Johnson to take home the vacant light-heavyweight title at UFC 187, the former Olympian used his wrestling ability to smother "Rumble" before eventually locking up the rear-naked choke in round three. It was a well-executed gameplan; "DC" used his grappling to neutralise Johnson's vicious striking in order to set up the submission.
According to the champ, though, Cormier believes he can beat striking specialist Alexander Gustafsson anywhere the fight takes place. The AKA fighter spoke to Fighthype about his opponent on Tuesday.
"There are reasons to be confident against Alexander and there are reasons to be worried about Alexander," Cormier said. He presents a lot of problems for any fighter, but in this match-up, I see a lot of paths to victory I believe that I have more opportunities and more chances to win this fight than he does. It's not as simple as I just have to wrestle and take him down to win. I can win the standup fight. I could grind him up against the cage and beat him. I can take him down and beat him. There are a lot of ways for me to beat him, and for Alex, I think his ways are pretty limited."
Gustafsson, hailed as one of the best boxers in the division, uses his range to snipe at his opponents from distance, but Daniel Cormier believes he has the tools to close the distance if need be. When analyzing his fight with the taller Jon Jones earlier in January, DC believes he can use the same tools close in on 'The Mauler.'
"You know what, man? I've seen the fight and I've seen the range and Jones does a good job of fighting long, just like Gustafsson does, and I closed the distance pretty good in that fight. I felt it. So it gives me a little bit of confidence."
Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson will fight in a light-heavyweight championship tilt on October 3rd for the main event of UFC 192 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.