"I knew that I was going to start dieting down; that way, when I did make the drop, it would be a more realistic cut and I'm not just sucking off a whole bunch of weight at the very end and putting myself in any health dangers. So if I stay about 225 to 230, I think I'm in striking distance. I'm starting training camp at 228, so when I get into training camp, I can get to 205 pretty easy...I don't mind fighting anyone. If it's Lil Nog, that's fine. If it's anybody else, it doesn't matter; Gegard Mousasi.I'm not gonna name all of them because we're buddies, but if the UFC decides it," stated undefeated UFC heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier, who talked about his recenty victory over Roy Nelson, his move to light heavyweight for his next fight, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on a great win over the durable Roy Nelson.
DC: Thank you P. It was a good fight, man. First off, what's up FightHype? I mean, shit, we didn't even get one in before the fight this time, man. I don't know what's going on (laughing).
PC: We were defintiely playing phone tag leading up to this one.
DC: I know, man. But nah, it was a good fight, P. I implemented my game plan. I think that once Roy and I got done wrestling for the first 3 minutes of the first round, I think he was pretty much done. He was tired and he took a couple of big knees to the body and I could see him looking up at the clock real early and taking some real deep breaths right over my shoulder, and I knew that at that moment, we could pretty much do anything we wanted to him.
PC: It looked like everything that you wanted to do was set up off of your jab. You landed some real nice right hands after blinding him with the jab. Was that the plan coming in to offset his offense with your jab?
DC: I got two boxing coaches that were professional boxers. They don't do anything but boxing, Rudy Cruz Jr. and Rosendo Sanchez, and we jab so much that my left shoulder kills me at night. I gotta ice it because I love throwing the jab. It's such an effective weapon and once you get used to throwing a jab, you don't stop at one jab. You may fall short on the first jab, but then the second jab pops him in the head. Most MMA fighters don't work behind a jab. Once you establish a strong jab, you can start firing off the right hand and once you get the timing of the right hand down, you can start following with the left hook. And again, most MMA fighters are throwing one or two punches; they are not throwing one, two, three, and four shots at a time. I think that's where you are seeing the difference with me.
PC: Everyone knows your wrestling credentials, but we haven't seen it in an offensive manner like you used it against Roy. Was that strictly to try and tire him out?
DC: My coach Bob Cook and Javier really stressed getting him exhausted early and he's shown a tendency of getting tired. We have seen it in fights before and Roy doesn't even try to hide the fact that he's getting tired. He'll go to his corner and just put his hands on his knees. He's showed a tendency to get tired in these fights, so they wanted me to really wrestle early in the fight, especially Bob, so I went out and really attacked his legs. It's what I do best and even when I'm not grabbing his legs and I'm just feinting at his legs, it never allows these guys to get set. Yeah, I think that's the most I have wrestled in a fight in a really long time.
PC: I know you train wrestling, but to actually put it to use, was it like knocking the rust off for you or picking up where you left off just with muscle memory?
DC: I felt like it's something that I'm capable of doing. I have been wrestling my whole life, like you said. Plus, we wrestle a lot in the gym. We wrestle on Tuesdays at AKA and we have our wrestling shoes on and when King Mo was there, he actually got us wearing singlets again. Mo said, "If guys wear Gis for Jiu Jitsu, why shouldn't we wear our singlets?" And guys started wearing wrestling shoes to practice. And then on Saturdays, we just go in there and drill wrestling for a little more than an hour, Cain and I, so we spend a lot of time on it and even though you don't see it very much, the skills are always being sharpened. It's a different kind of wrestling, as you saw in the Frank Mir fight, and then you saw in the first round, once Roy was able to get up, cage work, and you also saw it in Cain's fight. I've really started to stress a little bit more clinch stuff because that wears guys down just as much as the up and down, up and down stuff.
PC: You have benefited from watching Roy Nelson fight for a long time. Was there anything that he did during the course of the fight that surprised you or that you hadn't seen him do in prior fights?
DC: He was who I thought he was. I thought his takedown defense was a little bit better than I anticipated because he is very heavy. Roy is a smart guy too because after the very first takedown, it was real easy. When I got back to his legs, he just attacked a kimura knowing that I couldn't take him down because that would have allowed him to just flip me over and finish the kimura. He's very smart and he thinks in there. He got really heavy and with a lot of guys, I don't feel that. Maybe it had something to do with the weight. I was a lot lighter for that fight, but when I was in on his legs a couple of times, he felt really heavy.
PC: Was coming in at 224 a conscious decision by you to show that you are on your way down or just the weight you came in at because of the strenuous camp?
DC: The weight kept coming off, but we also told the UFC as a team that we were going down and we wanted to show that. For a long time, I have been saying maybe, maybe, I don't know, so we wanted to show the UFC that I am positioning myself that I can make the drop and we wanted them to see that in the way I look and on the scale. So I knew that I was going to start dieting down; that way, when I did make the drop, it would be a more realistic cut and I'm not just sucking off a whole bunch of weight at the very end and putting myself in any health dangers. So if I stay about 225 to 230, I think I'm in striking distance. I'm starting training camp at 228, so when I get into training camp, I can get to 205 pretty easy. I just can't get up to 240 because that 10 to 12 pounds would make a huge difference.
PC: Because Jon Jones is scheduled to fight, you consciously didn't call him out after the fight. With that being said, I'm sure you're not gonna want to wait and not fight. I'm hearing Lil Nog, Phil Davis, and a couple of other names. Do you have a preference of who you make your 205 pound debut against?
DC: I'm gonna let the UFC decide who I am fighting. A lot of people on Twitter are on both sides of the fence with Gustafsson. Some want to see us fight and some don't want to see us fight because they want him and I both to fight Jones on separate occasions. By us fighting, you burn a contender. Jones wants to see us fight. He tweeted who do you think would win between Cormier and Gustafsson. That guy is an evil genius, isn't he? God, he is an evil genius. It doesn't matter, man. If they were to say, "Daniel, you gotta fight Gustafsson," obviously it's not my choice. Would I prefer to fight Gustafsson over in Europe my first fight at 205, probably not. I would rather make weight the first time in the US. I think my reasons are pretty reasonable; access to food that we will need to make the weight, access to gyms. I mean, in any city in the country, you can find a 24-hour Fitness. It's not like that overseas. The weather is so much different a lot of times overseas. You swell when you're on those long flights overseas because you retain water. It's a whole bunch of reasons that kind of scares me about making weight for the first time in a foreign country. But outside of that, I don't mind fighting anyone. If it's Lil Nog, that's fine. If it's anybody else, it doesn't matter; Gegard Mousasi.I'm not gonna name all of them because we're buddies, but if the UFC decides it, I would have to have discussions with those guys too about our friendships going forward after these fights.
PC: Would you look to a Mike Dolce or someone to get you down to 205 or would you try to do it with the team you have in place?
DC: I'm gonna get help wherever I can find it, but I have a sponsor, Automatic Body, a nutrient company and they really helped me this time to get to 224 just with their supplements and everything, but Mike actually has a diet too and Mike will also stay with you for the last month and make your food too, which is probably the most important thing someone can do. I have a guy right now in San Jose named Justin Lyons; he has a company that just prepares food. He brings me all of my meals and I just eat them like that whole time doing the Automatic Body diet and you saw the difference. I was down to 224 and my previous fight, I was like 247. I was down 23 pounds in a few months just by dieting and following the Automatic Diet and eating cleaner and healthier foods. The food doesn't have to suck and be horrible just because it's clean.
PC: How did you feel competing at 224?
DC: I felt like myself, P. I have always been the type of guy that can play football, basketball, and run and kind of be an athlete, you know. I can feel myself moving better. I was moving better out there. I was much faster and I felt my reflexes were a lot faster. I just really felt like myself. You know the person that sees the biggest difference is my girl, Selena. She said she can see the difference in me on a day to day basis. She says my energy level is higher and I'm more open to doing stuff, so just across the board, she says she can see a difference in me in terms of life. I felt better as an athlete, but like I said, Selena says she sees a difference on a day to day basis.
PC: A lot of people felt like your fight against Roy was the most intriguing fight on the card and you proved a lot against a tough opponent like Roy Nelson. Is there anything you want to say to your supporters in closing?
DC: I just want to say thank you for the support. I really appreciate everybody who watched the fight and for people who enjoyed it, thank goodness. For the people that didn't think it was exciting, I don't know what I am supposed to do. I stood with Roy Nelson for a long time, man. I stood in front of him and mixed it up and I was going forward in the fight. I thought it was a pretty good fight. As the sport evolves, you're not gonna see a lot of guys stand in front of each other and brawl. You are going to see guys with game plans and stick to them. I thought Cain fought beautiful. I thought he had the perfect strategy for Junior. He wore him out and then he finished him. I thought wearing Roy out in the beginning took all of the danger out in the fight and then I was able to stand there and bang with him. Dana is one to tell you if you had a bad fight because he told me right after Frank Mir, but this time, he told me I fought great and that he was very happy with the performance. Bob Cook, who is my biggest critic, said that it was probably my best fight that I have had so far. I feel pretty good about it.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]