Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez are in that predicament that some teammates find themselves in. Both fighters are top contenders in the heavyweight division, and with Cormier soon to come over to the UFC, they could find themselves in a spot where they would have to face each other if they want the belt.
Cormier has made it known, though, that he would drop to light heavyweight if the situation arose. A move to 205 pounds could be good for Cormier, who would match up well with most of the division, including current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The move could come with some problems health-wise for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion. Cormier had problems cutting at the 2008 Summer Olympics and ended up missing the Olympics due to kidney failure. It could have been a one time ordeal, but regardless, it still raises questions as to whether or not Cormier could make the 205-pound limit without any problems.
It’s a different time though, and Cormier, who still has a Sept. 29 date with UFC veteran heavyweight Tim Sylvia looming under the Strikeforce banner, probably has a much better diet and better way of cutting weight than he did back then. Plus, Cormier might have to take the risk anyway due to his unwillingness to fight Velasquez. If he wants to hold a belt, he can’t sit around in the heavyweight division clogging up the rankings while he waits for his teammate to lose. It doesn’t work like that.
The UFC doesn’t take kindly to the whole “We’re teammates, so we won’t fight” notion anyway. Remember Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck? Both fighters are—or in Koscheck’s case, were—AKA members, just like Cormier and Velasquez. The UFC wanted to make the fight between the two and instead got shafted by Fitch and Koscheck. It led some fans to believe the UFC had it out for Fitch and was avoiding a Fitch title shot because of the situation.
Cormier should move down because he would fare well at the lighter weight class.
He has great wrestling—understatement of the century right there—and his striking skills are getting really good and dangerous. With that skill set, he could make a run in a division where there are only a handful of people who are truly well-rounded. Most fighters either have great grappling and average striking, or great striking and average grappling, but very few possess an equal balance of both.
The only fighters I could see Cormier having a trouble with are Jones, Rashad Evans and possibly trying to get a hand on Lyoto Machida. Everybody else would make for definite wins for Cormier.
The move would serve him well in his desire to get away from the teammate debacle, and to put him in line for an opportunity at a belt. Velasquez probably won’t beat Junior dos Santos in their rematch, but Cormier should still try to avoid leaving any room for a teammate versus teammate stalemate, especially with the prospects of a tantilizing option such as moving down a weight class.
If it is something Cormier can make happen, why not move down? Why not become a more dominant and faster fighter then he already is?
Photo: Daniel Cormier (top) slams Josh Barnett to the canvas (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)