UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

Daniel Cormier Should Consider Middleweight

Daniel Cormier at Middleweight?

The main event of UFC 182 between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones. Was one of the most anticipated matches in the short history of the UFC. Whilst the fight itself might not go down as a classic, it was a hard-fought battle of wills between two fearsome competitors. In the end, it was the champion and arguably the greatest of all time,

Jon Jones – who stood with his hand raised. Cormier was once again resigned to taking the runner-up prize. He is the perennial contender and is now in danger of becoming the ultimate nearly man. At thirty-five years old, the former two-time Olympian has few options left available. To fulfil his ambition of becoming a world champion.

Daniel Cormier has operated at the elite level throughout his athletic career. Having won three Louisiana state championships in high school and a bronze medal as a cadet at the world championships. Cormier turned down a football scholarship at LSU (he was also an all-state football player in high school). In favour of pursuing his wrestling dream at Colby Community College.

He went on to become a two-time junior college national champion at 197 lb. Before transferring to Division 1 powerhouse Oklahoma State. It was there that he became an All-American in his senior year – finishing runner-up in the NCAA final to Cael Sanderson. Cormier’s final record was 53-10. Six of his ten losses came to Sanderson who is widely regarded as the greatest college wrestler of all-time.

Daniel Cormier Nationals, Worlds and Olympics

Cormier continued to wrestle after graduating from OSU. Winning the U.S. National Championship every year from 2003 – 2008 and representing his country at world level throughout the same period. He finished fourth at the 2004 Olympics and was team captain and number 2 seed at the 2008 games. When he was unable to compete due to kidney failure as a result of cutting weight.

Despite his Olympic heartbreak, Cormier captured a bronze medal at the Wrestling World Championships in 2007. And won gold at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix. The latter is seen by many as being the toughest wrestling competition in the world.

Cormier is one of a select group of Americans who have won the tournament. The Louisiana native also procured medals at the Pan American Games, Pan American Championships and the Wrestling World Cup.

Cormier has stated that he may never have pursued a career in mixed martial arts had he won gold at the Olympics. By his own admission, he has dedicated his life to becoming a world champion. He has come close on a few occasions but the proverbial cigar has continued to elude him.

DC’s Amateur wrestling credentials

His amateur wrestling credentials speak for themselves. But when you consider that he is the former XMMA Heavyweight Champion. King of the Cage Heavyweight champion and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner it is safe to say that his MMA achievements are none too shabby either. Indeed, most athletes would give their right arm to achieve a fraction of what Cormier has.

Daniel Cormier Wiping Face At Ufc 182.At the post-fight press conference, last Saturday Cormier gave an honest assessment of his situation. Stating that he has had to rebuild himself countless times in the past and that he will do so again.

He vowed to face Jon Jones again in the future, which tells us that he intends to stay in the light-heavyweight division. It is likely that Cormier could get another crack at the title with a win or two. But it is hard to see what he could do differently in a rematch against Jones.

The fact that the champion is so tall and long reach mean Cormier’s only route to victory is to close the distance and pressure the champion. This game plan worked well at times at UFC 182 but Jones was able to catch Cormier too often on the way in.

A fight against the loser of this weekends bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. Or the winner of the Rashad Evans vs Glover Teixeira fight next month is likely next on Cormier’s agenda. But what if the AKA team captain opted to drop a weight class?

Daniel Cormier at Middleweight?

When the proposition of Cormier competing at middleweight is raised. People generally dismiss the possibility without even properly considering it. The fact that he has competed as a heavyweight for most of his MMA career.

Leads people to believe that he is too big to make the cut to 185 lb. Cormier chose to drop to light heavyweight to avoid a fight with his training partner and friend – World Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez.

Just as he chose to compete at 211.5 lb. in his post-collegiate wrestling career. In order to avoid competing against Cael Sanderson at 184 lb. The fact that Cormier once competed at 184 lb. Offers some food for thought if nothing else. Granted that was back in 2001, but Cormier looks to be carrying excess body fat at 205 lb. and he is only 5 ft. 11 in. tall.

Nutrition guru Mike Dolce seems to believe Cormier can make the cut. And if he were to do so he would likely receive a title shot as quick, if not quicker, than he would at light heavyweight. On an episode of his podcast, Chael Sonnen recently told Rashad Evans were he to drop to 185 lb.

The UFC would likely give him an immediate title shot because there is a lack of clear cut contenders in the middleweight division. Daniel Cormier is in the same boat as Evans in that they are both undersized for their weight class and have both lost to Jon Jones.

The agony of his defeat to Jones was portrayed by the tears he shed at the post fight press conference. If Daniel Cormier wants to finally fulfil his goal of becoming world champion. A goal he has dedicated his life to, then middleweight might be his only option.

Images courtesy of usatoday.com/sports

T: twitter.com/MMAmicks

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