To say Daniel Cormier is in an odd spot is a massive understatement.
Cormier, of course, was reinstated as the official champion but the former Olympian was reluctant to accept the title. In fact, he’s still not sure whether he’s truly deserving of his championship status.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the 400th edition of The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle), Cormier said that he has work to do before fully embracing his role as champion.
“I am the champion, because if I didn’t get a fair shake, that’s not cool,” Cormier said. “But I know that I lost the last fight, so I have to fix that before I can feel completely secure in my title.
“I am [champion] because the competition was unfair, but I guess it doesn’t count because I know what UFC 214 was. I experienced it myself. I was there, and in my mind I lost the competition. So it’s kind of an odd question right now under the circumstances. I have a bunch of people who really truly care for me and love me and my wife, my management, they’re very upset I didn’t get a fair shake, I guess, but they’re all easy to answer that question, but for me, the competitor, it is very difficult.”
“I think things will be better and I will feel better about the belt and everything again when I fight and defend it,” he said. “Then I can feel better. Then I can feel better because, I don’t care what anyone said, I lost the last fight, you know? I know I lost. I was there. I was in the Octagon, and then I was out of the Octagon and I don’t quite remember what happened in between.”
Cormier is likely to defend his title against Oezdemir or Alexander Gustafsson early next year.