A two-time Olympian, Daniel Cormier‘s transition to mixed martial arts went smoothly, winning the UFC’s light heavyweight title for the first time in 2015. He’s earned a reputation as on e of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and on Saturday, Cormier will defend his title against Volkan Oezdemir, a Swiss striker with big-time power.
In a discussion with Benny Bash and Danny Williams on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7, Cormier predicted a victory, but wasn’t going to underestimate his opponent.
“I am going to win this fight because I am the better overall mixed martial artist,” said Cormier. “But I have to watch [out for Oezdemir’s] knockout ability, and his ability to finish a fight quick. This is a guy that has nothing to lose, and he will come in there, guns-a-blazing, trying to become a world champion.”
Cormier’s last defense was controversial, but it had nothing to do with him. Cormier fought Jon Jones last July 29 — a fight that resulted in a ‘No Contest’ after Jones tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. This wasn’t Jones’ first positive drug test, and Cormier how Jones’ failed tests tarnished the validity of their fights. Cormier’s only loss as a pro was to Jones two years prior. “It’s tainted our series by making it kind of ugly; something that could be so big and so beautiful is going to be looked back on as kind of being ugly because of all the issues that have come with it.”
There’s no denying Cormier’s greatness, even after the pair of fights with Jones have been somewhat delegitimized. He is 19-1 in his UFC career with six knockouts, six submissions, and seven decisions. Cormier believes he will eventually be considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time, and isn’t finished completing his legacy. “I’ve still got some work to do. I do believe that I am going to go down as one of the better fighters to ever step foot in the octagon when I’m all said and done.”
Daniel Cormier’s UFC 220 fight against Volkan Oezdemir is set for Saturday, January 20, in Boston. Click here to listen to the full interview with Cormier, including what he had to say about the path he took to becoming a champion, or use the player below.
Catch Danny Williams and Benny Bash every weekday morning from 9a-11a on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.