Newly-crowned heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier etched his name into the MMA history books after beating Stipe Miocic at UFC 226, but the two-division champ insists that teammate Cain Velasquez is ‘still the best’.
Velasquez, the former two-time UFC heavyweight champ, has been riddled with injuries throughout his career and hasn’t fought in the Octagon in over two years. The Mexican-American holds dominant wins over the likes of Brock Lesnar, Junior dos Santos, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and, prior to his loss to Fabricio Werdum, was considered one of the greatest heavyweights in the world.
Cormier, however, says nothing has changed and still considers his longtime friend and teammate ‘the best heavyweight the UFC has ever seen’. According to ‘DC’, he still gets beat up by Velasquez in the gym.
“The reason the fight was so easy today was because for the last 8 weeks I’ve been getting beat up by Cain Velasquez,” Cormier said of his preparation for Miocic at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference. “He’s still the best, man. He’s the best heavyweight the UFC has ever seen. He does things that you just don’t expect somebody to do. Still, outta shape, he comes in here and does three or four rounds with me - and I’m exhausted.”
Cormier also said Velasquez was immensely proud of his championship feat at UFC 226 and, when asked if he would ever square off with his teammate for the heavyweight title, told reporters that he wouldn’t even consider the idea.
Velasquez last fought at UFC 200 where he made short work of Travis Browne at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, finishing ‘Hapa’ with a barrage of strikes in the first round. The 35-year-old was expected to rematch Werdum at UFC 207 but, after being assessed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was deemed medically unfit to compete and was removed from the bout just a few days before the pay-per-view.
Cormier, who knocked out Miocic in the first round of UFC 226’s main event, didn’t give a timeline for Velasquez’ return and said there’s ‘nothing on the horizon’ for his teammate.
Cormier is expected to defend his heavyweight title against WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, who Velasquez pummeled, back in 2010, at UFC 121.