LAS VEGAS – UFC dual champion Daniel Cormier isn’t worried.
Cormier isn’t worried about losing his heavyweight title to Derrick Lewis at UFC 230, which explains why he also isn’t worried about missing out on the massive payday of a planned title fight against Brock Lesnar.
But let’s just say it happens: Lewis scores an upset win over Cormier and derails the plan that’s been in place since July. Then what? Cormier is a huge favorite heading into the fight, but anything can happen given Lewis’ one-punch knockout power.
Cormier knows this, but it’s a risk he was willing to take when the UFC approached him scrambling to find a main event for the Nov. 3 pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden. Then again, it’s “not really” a risk at all to Cormier.
That’s where his light heavyweight title comes into play.
“Because if I lose to Derrick, who’s to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go defend my light heavyweight title, now you can’t take it,’” Cormier said last week. “So maybe that adds a whole other part to the equation. You can’t take both of my belts if I lost that one. So do I really have all that much to lose if I have a second one? Look at it like that.”
Will the UFC?
As it stands, the current 205-pound title plan – and this was assuming Cormier didn’t fight until facing Lesnar early next year – is for Jon Jones to make his return from suspension and face Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 in a rematch at UFC 232. Cormier would remain light heavyweight champion until the fight gets underway but would be officially stripped once it does.
Cormier, who was reinstated as 205-pound champion after Jones’ UFC 214 win was overturned because of a failed drug, has been openly against his arch-rival coming back to an immediate title shot. If he lost to Lewis, Cormier would have all the incentive to try and throw a wrench in the UFC’s plans.
“I am the light heavyweight champion until those guys fight,” Cormier said. “So if the light heavyweight champion loses his heavyweight title, and I’m willing to go, ‘Wait, I’m willing to defend my belt.’ Now we have some conversations to have.”
Regardless of how this all unfolds, Cormier said he’ll enter UFC 230 feeling no different than he does for any title fight.
“There’s anxiety every time I fight, but that doesn’t matter,” Cormier said. “To think, ‘Oh man, it could be gone in no time.’ Last July I had zero (titles). I lost. Then they said, ‘Here, you can have it back.’ Really, I had none. I had no titles. From 2009 to 2013, I had no UFC titles. Then for about a month in 2017 I had no UFC titles. So, not having a UFC title isn’t new to me. It’s just now I have them in abundance. I have two.”
And he plans on holding onto them for as long as possible.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Daniel Cormier downplays risk of UFC 230 title fight: 'Do I really have all that much to lose?'