Due to Jon Jones being stripped of his light-heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely due to a hit and run incident, Daniel Cormier now finds himself heading into a fight to establish a new champion with Anthony Johnson, and he’s given his immediate reaction to the news on FOX Sports Live.
Cormier had been slated to fight Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6th, but now has bigger fish to fry and will readjust his sights for a fight two weeks earlier.
“I followed the social media; people were kind of seeing that it was the fight that would need to happen if there was an opportunity,” Cormier said. “Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) called me and they told me right before it went public. I’ve been trying to kind of compose myself and contain myself. You start preparing, I’ve been preparing for my fight with Bader anyways, so I’ve kind of just been shifting my focus a little bit and maybe hoping another opportunity would present itself.”
Cormier lost out to Jones by unanimous decision back in January and has had a bitter rivalry with the troubled star that even got physical outside of the Octagon when they became engaged in a brawl at a pre-fight press conference last year, but on this occasion ‘DC’ is taking the high road and isn’t looking to revel in the former champion’s current situation.
“You don’t kick a guy when he’s down, and it was obviously disappointing,” Cormier said. “I think I’ve stated that time and time again. This whole situation, more than anything, the stuff Jon gets into is disappointing. He has the world at his fingertips and he can’t seem to get out of his own way. Very unfortunate was my initial reaction.”
And the 36 year-old even offered the former champion some friendly advice.
“Just get it together – get it together, man,” Cormier said. “There are a lot of people that look up to you and a lot of people that actually want to see him succeed. There’s a lot of people that want to see him succeed. I’ll be waiting for him on the other side with my championship and he can actually challenge me for it.”
It’s now time for Cormier to refocus his attention on the man that stands in the way of him getting his hands on the UFC title though, and ‘DC’ knows that current No.1 contender ‘Rumble’ Johnson poses a serious threat.
“‘Rumble’ Johnson’s a fantastic fighter; he has tremendous power and he’s got a confidence about himself right now,” Cormier said.
However, it sounds like Cormier feels that beyond ‘Rumble’s’ fearsome reputation as a deadly striker, there are weaknesses that he can exploit on May 23rd.
“I want to tell you guys right now, at the end of the day, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is who he is. And at the core of Anthony Johnson, Anthony’s the guy who got submitted by Josh Koscheck. Anthony’s the guy that tapped out before Vitor Belfort had a choke in. At the core of him, he is who he is, and I just have to go out and find that.”
Watch Cormier’s full interview below.