After his most recent light heavyweight title defense against top contender Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220, Cormier, the former Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion, said he has no chance against the HW divisional elite.
According to Cormier, who trains alongside some of the best fighters in the world at San Jose’s American Kickboxing Academy, he can’t beat former two-time heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez in sparring.
“You know, I still wouldn’t favor anybody against Cain Velasquez but obviously I’m a bit biased.” Cormier said on a recent episode of UFC Tonight when asked about his longtime teammate (h/t Drake Riggs of BJPenn.com)
Daniel Cormier addresses the final 420 days of his career on @UFCTonight...— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 25, 2018
...is he interesting in a heavyweight title fight?
...is he still pushing for a Jon Jones fight?
...is he going to lose his dressing room to @Twooodley?@DC_MMA has the answers! https://t.co/bXqp8uwYTS
“But man, you got to look at those big dudes and know that that’s really not my weight class. I’m not as big. I mean, I know my face looks really fat right now compared to last weekend but those are heavyweights and heavyweights, those are the lands of the giants, man and i’m going to steer clear of those boys. And if somebody beats Cain Velasquez, just know that they’re probably going to beat me too because I can’t beat Cain *laughs*.”
Velasquez, 35, was highly touted as the next Fedor Emelianenko but has been unable to live up to expectations due to a series of recurring injuries. The Mexican-American lost his heavyweight strap to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188 and hasn’t fought since his TKO win over Travis Browne at UFC 200. The good news, however, is that Velasquez looks set to return to action this year, as the AKA standout recently teased fans by posting a photo of himself at the UFC performance Institute in Las Vegas.
Cormier, who also serves as Velasquez’ wrestling coach, is content to rule the light heavyweight division for the time being and plans to retire in March, 2019.