Daniel Cormier has made it clear he’s looking for a light-heavyweight title shot and he finished off his relatively brief UFC heavyweight tenure with a dominant victory over Roy Nelson at UFC 166. Going into the fight, Nelson was given a puncher’s chance, but he was simply manhandled, and out-punched throughout the three round affair. The easy decision victory for Cormier was a much more impressive performance than in his Octagon debut. His first fight under the UFC banner was a tentative, non-inspiring decision win against Frank Mir.
Cormier improved to 13-0 in his career with the victory over Nelson. He continued to showcase the traits that make him so formidable, whether he remains at heavyweight or makes his expected move to the light-heavyweight ranks. The training partner and good friend of heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez shares many of his traits. He has a solid gas tank, is an absolutely tremendous wrestler and puts together his striking combinations in impressive fashion. Against Nelson, Cormier was rarely touched by “Big Country’s” powerful right hand and he tested Nelson’s famous chin with some heavy shots.
Cormier is moving down in weight to avoid any prospect of having to fight Velasquez in the future. It’s too bad because the UFC heavyweight division could use Cormier in the mix as he was ranked second, heading into his fight in Houston. However, the heavyweight division’s loss should be a gain for the 205 pound weight class.
There’s no denying that his skill set should be well served with the move down in weight. The ultimate goal is a fight against champion Jon Jones, but there are some obstacles that “Bones” needs to get by to set up a possible fight against Cormier. First he needs to defeat Glover Teixeira when they meet; then there’s that talk of a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson after their thrilling encounter at UFC 165.
In his post-fight interview, Cormier made it clear he’s ready to begin the work down at light heavyweight to show why he deserves a title shot. There would be some intriguing challenges waiting there for him. There would be terrific fights to potentially make for Cormier against either Gustafsson or another top-5 contender in Phil Davis. A victory against either one of those fighters would definitely have Cormier on the fast-track to his coveted title shot.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports