Daniel Cormier is arguably the second-best heavyweight in the UFC. He has had a successful MMA career thus far. No one has been able to beat him, which is a testament to the wrestling and striking skills that he possesses.
On Saturday night, he has the chance to cement his status as being an elite fighter when he takes on Roy Nelson, who is a powerful puncher with some great jiu-jitsu.
Leading into this bout, there have been barbs exchanged by both men. Nelson took shots at Cormier, saying that a lot of his black friends would think it would be an uncle Tom move for Cormier to beat him up for UFC president Dana White. Cormier didn’t take these words too kindly, and he is indeed looking to exact some punishment on Nelson.
On paper, this is no walk in the park for Cormier. But to date, he has been able to live up to expectations, beating some quality opponents in Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett and Frank Mir. If he can beat Nelson, then he sets himself up for a title fight in the light heavyweight division, where Jon Jones has been able to reign supreme for years now.
Jones has been able to run through his opponents, but if there’s a man who could present some interesting problems for Jones, especially in terms of the wrestling, it’s Cormier.
Cormier has the chance to shine at UFC 166, and it will be interesting to see how much improvement he has made since his last outing. This won’t be his UFC debut, which takes a lot out of fighters emotionally, so it’s going to be fun to see him perform at his optimum level.