Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) puts his light heavyweight title on the line against Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in the UFC 220 co-main event Saturday at TD Garden in Boston. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Oezdemir has his title shot as one of the fastest-rising contenders in UFC history. He came to the promotion less than a year ago and it took him just three quick finishes to earn his shot at Cormier and the belt. But Cormier believes he has a major edge.
“It’s not going to be easy for either one of us,” Cormier said Wednesday after a workout in Boston. “It’s not going to be easy for me – this guy can fight. But I’ve been here, right? These lights, (the media), the crowd – I’ve done this on a number of occasions. I’ve headlined five UFCs, not even counting UFC 200, I’ve sold 3 million pay-per-views for the company. So I’ve been in these big spots before. I know what to expect.
“This is all brand new to this kid. He’s got to learn to do this in the biggest situation possible. He’s only been on a main card once, so he’s got to make sure the emotion of the moment doesn’t take him and make him do something crazy. But I feel like I’m going to win because I feel like I’m better.”
Cormier is more than a 3-1 favorite in the fight. He’s actually coming off a second loss to Jon Jones this past July, but because Jones tested positive for a banned steroid, that loss was flipped to a no-contest, and Cormier had his title restored by the UFC.
There’s an expiration date for him as a champion, though – even if he doesn’t think it will happen Saturday against Oezdemir. Cormier insists he won’t fight past 40. He’ll turn the magic number in March 2019, but he doesn’t necessarily think that means he’s down to just a fight or two left.
“This isn’t my last fight,” he said. “I’m going to fight through this year – just because I say I won’t fight (after) I’m 40 doesn’t mean I won’t fight five times this year because I love to compete. I may just hustle through fights so I can fight as many times as I can before I’m 40 years old.”
For more from Cormier, check out the video above.
- 'UFC 220 Embedded,' No. 3: Daniel Cormier is not impressed with what he sees
- UFC 220 co-main-event breakdown: Oddsmakers correct with Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir?
- Despite skid, UFC 220's Gian Villante has title aspirations once he gets it going again
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Daniel Cormier doesn't expect easy win vs. Volkan Oezdemir, but expects to win nonetheless