Daniel Cormier made some bold statements while appearing on “UFC Tonight” Tuesday evening regarding his new opponent, Anthony Johnson.
Cormier and Johnson will now meet for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 187 in May after the promotion stripped Jon Jones of the title. Cormier was scheduled to face Ryan Bader, but was moved into the championship match instead.
“Johnson is a tremendous fighter,” Cormier said. “At the end of the day, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is who he is. At the core, he’s the guy who was submitted by Josh Koscheck and tapped out when Vitor Belfort got a choke in.
“I have to go out and find that.”
Johnson did in fact previously lose to both Koscheck and Belfort while he was competing at welterweight in the UFC. After the defeat at the hands of Belfort, and due to missing weight a number of times, Johnson was released.
Since returning, he’s topped Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson to become the top challenger to the title.
Cormier, who lost to Jones via decision in January, wasn’t in the mood to continuing bringing down the now-former champion.
“You don’t kick a guy when he’s down,” he said. “It was disappointing. All the stuff Jon gets in to is disappointing. He has the world at his fingertips and he can’t get out of his own way.
“Just get it together. A lot of people look up to you and a lot of people want to see him succeed. I’ll be waiting on the other side with my championship and he can challenge me for it.”