Daniel Cormier is making the move down to light heavyweight, but it isn't a move based purely on the fact that his good friend and teammate Cain Velasquez currently sits as king of the heavyweight division.
Ever since he came to the UFC, Cormier has had to answer questions about his high ranking in the division, which would eventually put him on a collision course with Velasquez, the UFC heavyweight champ.
Time and time again, Cormier has said that he'd never fight his teammate and if necessary he would pursue a move down to 205 pounds to keep the conflict at bay.
Now Cormier is making that move, slowly but surely, as he gets ready for one final fight at heavyweight at UFC 166 where he'll face Roy Nelson. Cormier's motivation has changed, however, as he approaches the cut-down to 205 pounds, because it's not just about avoiding his teammate any longer—it's about a better life.
"I don't want to fight Cain (Velasquez) but I also want to start living life a little healthier, I've got kids now," Cormier explained when speaking on UFC Tonight on Tuesday. "A lot of fans have asked me to go down to 205, they've been asking me since I started fighting. So now I'm doing it, but I'm starting to put the earnest on them, I want them to do it with me.
"I have a website GetFitwithDC.com and I can watch their progress as we go down together."
Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler who was the team captain ahead of the 2008 games, but never actually got the chance to compete after weight-cutting shut his body down and he was ineligible to compete due to kidney failure.
This time around, Cormier is pledging to cut the weight in a more natural way, shedding the pounds over months instead of days to ensure his move is smooth and without any further damage to his body.
That said, the heavyweight division could still end up looking much different after UFC 166, as Cormier's teammate is battling Junior dos Santos in the main event with the title on the line. If Velasquez loses to Dos Santos for a second time, it could leave the door wide open for Cormier to step in and avenge his friend's loss while also getting a shot at the heavyweight title.
Cormier says while it's nice to know that so many people are dropping his name, his move to 205 pounds is happening regardless of the results of UFC 166.
"I'm confident (Junior dos Santos) won't win that fight and, as I said, it doesn't matter," Cormier stated. "I want to try to live healthier for my kids and for my family. I want to live a longer life, a healthier life, so I'm going to go down regardless."
Cormier's statement should now close the door on the heavyweight discussion. It appears he will get his last fight in against Nelson at UFC 166 after which he will officially drop down to 205 pounds and await his next challenge.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
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