Daniel Cormier has one fight left in Strikeforce, and then he’ll be making the move to the UFC’s heavyweight division. That is, unless he gets a shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“I’m a heavyweight right now,” Cormier told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Until they offer me a fight with Jon Jones, fighting for the light heavyweight championship and coaching ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and stuff, yeah, I’m fighting at heavyweight.”
Cormier is scheduled to fight Nov. 3 in Strikeforce, assuming the promotion can find a replacement for an injured Frank Mir. He expects to debut in the UFC in early 2013. While the plan is to compete at heavyweight, his name still comes up as a worthy challenger to Jones. Former UFC champion and current Strikeforce color commentator Pat Miletich has even predicted that Cormier would “ragdoll” Jones and take his title.
“That’s a huge endorsement by a guy like Pat, who’s accomplished as much as he has,” Cormier said. “I’m almost kind of speechless. I’ve never heard that before. ... It’s good to have people believe in you. To have a guy that’s actually so close but still so far away from my career say that, who just views it from the outside, is really good. Because I’m sure if he was actually on the inside and saw the work that we put in and the training, he would actually feel more confident in those statements.”
With that said, Cormier has an undeniable respect for Jones.
“I think Jon Jones right now is the greatest light heavyweight of all time,” Cormier said. “Why? Look at the five guys that he’s beaten to retain his belt and become the UFC champion. When you look at guys like Rashad Evans and those guys, go back and look at their opponents and you go, ‘My goodness, man.’ How in the world is every single fight against a guy like that? Jon beat ‘Shogun,’ ‘Rampage,’ Rashad, Machida and Vitor Belfort all in a row. How insane is that?”
Cormier sounds interested in a matchup, though, especially if the fight is promoted with himself and Jones on “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“I think [TUF] gives the fans a chance to get to know me better, to get more people getting to know me and watching me over the course of three months,” Cormier said. “It would give me some time to actually get my weight down and feel comfortable. It would do a lot of good. … At the end of it, you’d get to see a really big fight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:05:17).