There may be some notable, light-heavyweight scraps coming up in the UFC’s schedule, but Daniel Cormier evidently believes there’s only a handful of legit contenders currently in the division.
In recent months, rising fighters like Misha Cirkunov, Volkan Oezdemir and Corey Anderson have had some buzz, and veterans like Glover Teixeira and “Shogun” Rua are coming off wins. But, during a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio, the champion had this to say about the state of the light-heavyweight division (quote via MMA Junkie):
“It’s a very top-heavy our division,” Cormier said. “You have Anthony and myself and Jones when he gets back (from suspension) and Gustafsson, but I just don’t know if the rest of those guys can actually compete. For me, it’s not even about those guys. I’ve got my next three fights mapped out: I’ve got to fight Anthony Johnson, I’ve got to fight and beat Jon Jones and then I have to fight and beat Jon Jones again. Then I will have accomplished everything I could have ever accomplished in the sport of mixed martial arts.”
It’s kind of interesting to hear Cormier say this, and Teixeira fans are likely surprised that the noted finisher wasn’t mentioned. Teixeira has taken out a lot of contenders during his run in the UFC.
Cormier was also asked about Cirkunov in particular, who has gone 4-0 to date in the UFC, and has a lot of hype behind him. “DC” argued that by the time Cirkunov has worked his way into a title shot, he could be retired. The decorated wrestler turns 38 later this month.
As Cormier noted, up next for him is the ridiculously dangerous Anthony Johnson. They’re fighting on April 8th at UFC 210 in Buffalo.