Cormier: It’s ‘ridiculous’ that Rashad is the underdog

Saturday, January 11, 2014

NCAA Div I All-American wrestler, two-time Olympian, and undefeated fighter Daniel Cormier appeared at a UFC 170 media day in Las Vegas, ahead of his fight with Rashad Evans on Feb. 22.

The odds are currently 3-1 in his favor, and when Cormier heard about it, he had two words.

“That’s ridiculous,” said the Olympian.

“I mean I don’t know why I wouldn’t be [the underdog],’ said Cormier as transcribed by Heidi Feng for MMA Fight Corner. “He’s a guy that’s going to be in the Hall of Fame at some point when he’s done. He’s fought the really best guys for a really long time and he’s won. I guess that I would be considered the underdog.”

“Rashad was a college wrestler, NCAA division I qualifier and a UFC champion. It’s a difficult fight for me. I think he’s probably going to be the toughest guy I’ve fought so far. But, I feel fine. I’m really confident in what I’ve learned in this sport. I’m confident in my team, my coaches, and my ability to fight. When I go in the cage, I fight smart and I fight to win. So, I’m confident I can win against Rashad Evans.”

The fight will be the first for Cormier at 205, but that is not a complete advantage in his eyes.

“I do lose a speed advantage,” said Cormier. “But you got to understand, it’s like when you lose weight, you get faster. It’s not like I’m going to get slower because I’m going down. I’m actually going to move better. I wrestled 185-pounds in college and when I was down at 185, I moved just as fast as the guys I was wrestling.”

Evans had said Cormier was scared to text him at present.

“I think he’s kind of scared to text me now,” said Evans recently. “But the thing about it is, you’ve got to put it on hold. You can’t be palling around, because it’s a fight. If I allow myself to think any other way than he’s someone who’s trying to separate me from consciousness, I’ve already lost.”

Cormier said he wasn’t scared, bur rather needed a little space.

“I just want to make it clear that we have to be in the right mind frame. I know that me personally, I care about Rashad a lot. I think he’s a great guy,” said Cormier. “But for me personally, I need a little bit of space. Because otherwise, I wrestled Muhammed Lawal one time and I beat him in the finals of the US national tournament and I left. I left the arena because I knew he was not getting money that he probably could have used because he lost to me. It bugged me.

“But then for six weeks after that, he didn’t talk to me. I wanted to. I would call him, he wouldn’t respond. But he didn’t talk to me and six weeks later we wrestled. And I beat him again and I was fine. So Mo taught me in that moment that space can help both of us, especially when going into a competitive event like that.”

“I would’ve preferred for this fight to come a little bit later if possible, but stuff happens man. This is the one that’s going to prepare me for a championship fight.”