Daniel Cormier will be stepping into the cage at UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to face off against Jon Jones. Jones is the greatest pound-for-pound fighter the sport has ever seen, Cormier told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
Facing off against the greatest fighter ever will be no easy task regardless of Cormier's pedigree as an amateur wrestler in the Olympics and his impressive accomplishments in MMA. He'll look to lean on longtime training partners at the American Kickboxing Academy to help prepare him for the biggest challenge of his MMA career.
I tell Jon Jones, show me two guys who can beat my two main training partners, Cain Velasquez and Luke Rockhold. You show me your two who are going to prepare you better than my two. So I'm going to rely on my guys, man. I'm going to rely on Cain, I'm going to rely on Luke to help me become the UFC champion. I'm going to reach out a little bit, but I'm not going to stray very far from my comfort zone.
Even with all of the talent that the American Kickboxing Academy has to offer, Cormier feels it would be in his best interest to seek out talent outside of the San Jose, California, gym—the "former champion" kind of talent.
"I've got some friends, and they put me in contact with some of the guys down in Southern California, with Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida," Cormier first told Helwani. "I may down go there for a week."
Long before fans became eager to see Cormier and Jones battle it out, they dreamed of the superfight that should have been—a bout between Silva and Jones that would have the true pound-for-pound king triumph against his greatest challenge.
It never happened.
Then came Machida, the only man before Alexander Gustafsson to challenge Jones inside of the cage (albeit for one round). He was quick enough to get past Jones' pterodactyl-like reach and connect chin to leather. The champion's force fields were penetrable, his demise was on the horizon.
That never happened, either.
Cormier steps in at UFC 178 to accomplish both—a superfight between the former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion and the current UFC light heavyweight champion, and the opportunity to get past the reach before knocking the king off his throne.
Whether Cormier will be able to accomplish what is currently known as the impossible has yet to be determined—that reach really is no joke. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that Cormier's knee holds up in the weeks before the bout, and Jones does his part in keeping this social media war alive.
Kristian Ibarra is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He also serves as the sports editor at San Diego State University's student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter at @Kristian_Ibarra for all things MMA.