Daniel Cormier is on his way to the light heavyweight division, and he's already plotting the course for his arrival.
The former Olympian made a triumphant exit from the heavyweight division with his unanimous-decision victory over Roy Nelson last Saturday at UFC 166, and now he's eyeing his first challenge as a light heavyweight.
With his top-ranked status and undefeated record intact, "D.C." will hit the 205-pound division as a major player. That said, he's looking to face an opponent who will put him on the fast track to a title shot.
He has two potential options in mind: Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The 34-year-old Cormier used his time as co-host on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight to address the matter.
Those are all big fights and the types of fights that matter. These are the types of fights I'm going to need if I'm going to put myself in a position to win a championship. I want to win a title, man. That is the reason I'm going to go down to 205. I thought that was going to be my first fight. That was my intention, but it doesn't seem that way now and the division has moved on. But give me 'Lil Nog' or Davis, that would be a great fight. Any of those guys make for an exciting fight. I want big fights and I want to face a guy who is a contender.
Either matchup would make a suitable light heavyweight debut for Cormier, and it pretty much extinguishes talk of a potential bout with Alexander Gustafsson. While the recent title challenger has been floated as a possible option, the AKA standout described why a fight with the Swedish striker isn't going to happen next.
I have no problem fighting Alexander Gustafsson...not at all. The one thing I'm concerned about is being that it is going to be my first time fighting down at 205 and I know Gustafsson is going to be fighting somewhere in Europe. Whether it's Sweden or somewhere else in Europe, I don't want to be making my first weight cut down to 205 overseas.
I know what I'm going to need and I know I can find saunas here in the United States and all the food I would need in order to make the weight. I know those things are easily accessible for me fighting in the United States of America. I have no problem fighting Gustafsson but I would not want to do it overseas.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.