Daniel Cormier Won’t Be Taken Down By Another Wrestler

February 22nd and UFC 170 in Las Vegas is a mere six weeks away and with it, the much anticipated light-heavyweight debut of Daniel Cormier.

As fans know, Cormier is a powerful and athletic wrestler. He is a two time Olympian, having placed fourth in the 2004 games, as well as being a bronze medalist in the 2007 world championships. He is also a former two-time Pan American gold medalist, as well as having taken the bronze once. In short, he’s a world class wrestler.  

Since migrating his wrestling skills to the sport of mixed martial arts, Cormier has won the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, gone 13 & 0 professionally, 2 & 0 in the UFC, made his ranked mark in the heavyweight division, and taunted light-heavyweight Jon Jones with verbal barbs of the champion’s imminent defeat at his hands.

On the last point it has become the point of Cormier’s career; to drop down to 205, run through one or two fighters and then batter Jones out of his championship belt. To all of it, Cormier speaks as if it will be nothing more than a walk in the park.   

Although Cormier has developed other skills to go with his wrestling, namely Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing, Daniels confidence still finds its roots in his Olympic talents. That indeed, it’s his kryptonite for every fight he’ll be in. To this end, Cormier is convinced that no other wrestler in the UFC, and that includes his UFC 170 opponent Rashad Evans, will ever be able to take him down.

Today in Los Angeles, while speaking at a promotional luncheon for the upcoming Nevada event, Cormier commented on his conviction directly. As Daniel remarked:

“I’m not going to be taken down. I spent a lifetime developing that skill and I’m not getting taken down. When I look at a fight against another wrestler, this is how I approach it. In the sport that we all chose, I got to the top. People don’t just quit wrestling. You stop because you hit the end of the road, whereas I just continued to go. So in the sport I chose, Rashad chose, Jon Jones chose, and the rest of those guys chose, I went to the top of that sport. So no, I’m not getting taken down.”

In listening to him, he’s confident to be sure. However, Cormier has yet to face a solid wrestler in the UFC. His two victories in the brand have come at the expense of Frank Mir and Roy Nelson, with neither of them being particularly renowned for their wrestling skills. Further, his February opponent (Evans) is no slouch at wrestling himself and comes with his own high level (NCAA) wrestling credentials. Further still, “Suga” has defeated high level wrestlers such as NCAA champion Phil Davis, Greco-Roman wrestling superstar Dan Henderson, and UFC wrestling legend Chael Sonnen.

Perhaps, however, the issue in Cormier’s upcoming fight is not one of having to worry about being taken down, but rather taken out. Evans is not stupid and he probably knows that trying to take Cormier down might be a waste of his time and energy. As such, Rashad may well concede the point and execute a game of pure stand-up; using his wrestling in reverse, if need be, to keep the fight on the feet.

If this proves to be the case and Evans shows up in the same shape as he did for his November UFC 167 fight with Chael Sonnen, then he could prove to be a tough fight for Cormier and without ever trying to take “DC” to the ground. Suga is a very explosive, quick, high paced fighter who has KO power in both his hands and feet. He’s great at moving around and presenting different angles, and the only real knock on him throughout his career has been his motivation and cardio. Last time out Evans had both hitting on all cylinders and the net result was a first round TKO of a great wrestler; Sonnen.

Setting aside takedowns, fans might caution Daniel as to be wary of something else and that’s his ego. Cormier is an impressive fighter to say the least, but so too are a number of the fighters he thinks he’ll beat. As Evans is no joke, neither are the likes of Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis or Glover Teixeira. Of course, there’s also the wrestler killer Lyoto Machida; still ranked in the division at number 14.

All in all, it should be a great fight and if Cormier can beat Evans and particularly decisively, he may well be the next title contender. As Alexander Gustafsson has a tough fight coming up with Jimi Manuwa in March, a loss by the big Swede would remove him from the immediate title picture and leave Cormier in a great spot to pick up the pieces. Conversely, a loss to Evans, even a split decision, would knock him back a peg in the division and remove some of the shine from his armour.


13 Comments

  1. Avatar of TheXperience

    TheXperience

    January 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    IMO Rashad is really gonna have to mix it up… I too believe he can't take DC down, on the other hand i think DC can take Rashad down at will… question is, will he? My guess is no, he'll strike with Rashad and God knows Rashad wants absolutely nothing to do with the heat DC packs in those fists. I see Rashad getting into the clinch try to Dirty box maybe throw some kicks… I see DC dump him when Rashad clinches up and make him get up… maybe later he'll try to GnP. Rashad's cardio is probably gonna be a little better, depending on how well DC's cut went.. so i see Rashad's only chance in the 3rd round, if any…. Speed is gonna be pretty even.. they're both very fluid, i expect it to be a thing of beauty… it's a great matchup but the similarities could also turn it into a boring affair.

    • Avatar of falcon4917

      falcon4917

      January 9, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I can agree with that. Although I bet if Rashad sees this he will be determined to get a TD. Weather or not he gets it is another story, but I bet he will give a try.

    • Avatar of watermelon fresh

      watermelon fresh

      January 9, 2014 at 8:26 am

      He couldn't take big country down at will so he won't take Rashad down too easily. Rashad wins by decision or KO

    • Avatar of D

      D

      January 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      DC will not be able to take Rashad down "at will." He may get a takedown or two, but they will be tough to come by. Sure, he is the better wrestler on paper, but so was Phil Davis, and it didn't matter in MMA. Rashad is a much better striker than DC. He's more diverse, and he will have the speed and quickness advantage, which will be tough for DC to deal with, because he's been much faster than literally everybody he's ever fought. As far as Rashad wanting nothing to do with DC's power…he hits hard too.

  2. Avatar of jmedno5891

    jmedno5891

    January 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Never say never in mma DC….that said, I hope he smashes rashad.

  3. Avatar of Zip

    Zip

    January 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Worry not, Rashad already has the bases covered. Whoever looses, it was the white man's fault. Shouldn't have had the two brothers fight. Danm dominate MMA white people.

  4. Avatar of knn03

    knn03

    January 9, 2014 at 1:13 am

    DC won't be taken down for sure. He's a much stronger wrestler and he punches harder.

    DC is fast for a heavyweight and Rashad is fast for a light heavyweight so I see the speed advantage for Rashad. But I don't see Rashad winning in any way except for a flash TKO, but I think he'll be to gun shy because of DC's power.

  5. Avatar of Arti Choke

    Arti Choke

    January 9, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I don't see DC getting a title shot right after the Rashad fight, as I simply can't imagine Gus losing to Manuwa. Manuwa is a great talent at 205, but besides TKO'ing some cans, what has he proven? He still has to face the deep waters in the UFC. He might be the next big thing, who knows, but until he faces and beats a top talent, my money is on Gus.

    I think Bones will beat Teixeira, Gus will beat Manuwa, and then we'll have the Bones/Gus rematch (at last!) and DC/Teixeira, before DC gets a title shot. The question is, will Bones still be the champ when DC gets his shot? After seeing Bones/Gus 1, I certainly wouldn't put my money on it.

  6. Avatar of ds-bailey1

    ds-bailey1

    January 9, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Whoa i didn't even finish reading this article before i discovered a wrong statement. Frank Mir has a great wrestling back ground, Minitaro used to be great, he snapped his shoulder, Brock was twice his size, and Brock had a wrestling back ground aswell. He turned out to be a straight *****. But give respect where respect is due, frank was great on the ground. So for Daniel to beat him at his own game is pretty great. Just saying.

    • Avatar of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      January 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      DS, as a Frank Mir fan, and I've been one for a long time, the last thing I'd ever accuse Frank of having would be a great wrestling background; certainly not relative to some of the fighters he's faced.

      Yes, Frank has some wrestling experience, but not at an NCAA or world class level. Mir has a great ground game and has even demonstrated decent stand-up from time-to-time, but his wrestling is nothing that's going to chase away anyone in the HW division and certainly not great wrestlers.

      That would be my view of it, at any rate.

  7. Avatar of ds-bailey1

    ds-bailey1

    January 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

    My money is on DC. I mean he doesn't have the speed Rashad does, but the power absolutely. If DC knows whats good for him he will take Rashad down, because look at what happend to Forest when ever he taunted Rashad before the fight.Forest just being goofy Forest, ment nothing by it. But that certainly put a giddy up in Rashad's step, i mean he knocked forest out. Which in turn if you remember wasn't hard for anybody to do anymore. And it was the same case for Chuck, he knocked Chuck out and now you hit him in the head with a pencil and hes out cold.. DC best take him down.

    • Avatar of TheXperience

      TheXperience

      January 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Well… Rampage destroyed Chucks chin… so Rashad didn't have much work to do there. After the fight with Rampage Chuck never been the same and he got knocked out left and right… same for Forrest.. After the fight with rampage all of this sudden he had no more chin. Rampage didn't knock him out but i think he destroyed Forrest chin too. When fighters take shots like that and don't take enough time to recover, they're never the same.

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