Life after Jon Jones: Daniel Cormier looking to make a statement

James Bakker Roar Rookie

By James Bakker, James Bakker is a Roar Rookie

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    The co-main event of UFC 220 sees Daniel Cormier put his newly regained light heavyweight title on the line against the hard-hitting Volkan Oezdemir on January 21.

    Cormier is looking to shake the stigma of longtime rival Jon Jones, who bested him for the championship at UFC 214 last July via TKO.

    Cormier was subsequently renamed champion following Jones’ failed drug test for an anabolic steroid. Jones has been suspended by the UFC and if found guilty he faces up to four years out.

    Jones is the youngest UFC champion in history and is widely considered as one of the best fighters to ever compete in the Octagon. For Cormier, the best thing he can do is get right back in the Octagon and pick up a dominant victory against Oezdemir.

    This is the first step on the road to removing the cloud Jones places over his status as the best light heavyweight in the world.

    Ozdemir (15-1) will be a stern test. The fast-rising Swiss has built a name for himself with knockout wins over contenders Jimi Manuwa and Misha Cirkunov.

    But Ozedemir is not the first heavy hitter that Cormier has squared off against. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson was highly touted for his ability to send foes to the canvas with relative ease. Cormier managed to utilise his Olympic-level wrestling ability to defeat ‘Rumble’ on two previous occasions.

    “It’s not just about punching hard,” Cormier said. “This game is about much more, it’s about what you have up top, mentally, all-around mixed martial arts game, experience, all these things, whether I’m at the commentary booth, the host table or something, or just on these calls, there are levels to this game on the level. When a person isn’t on the level, they get exposed, very quickly.

    “I think that Volkan is a fantastic fighter. I believe that he believes in himself and in his power. But to beat me just being powerful is not enough.”

    With a win over a powerful contender like Oezdemir, Cormier may begin to reposition himself over Jones and lay his legacy as the greatest light heavyweight of all time.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Guru

      January 16th 2018 @ 10:18am
      BigJ said | January 16th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      Greatest light-heavyweight of all-time you say? Well you sir must be new to the ufc because there are plenty of names Cormier needs to get over first. Here is just a few Rashad Evans, rampage Jackson, tito Ortiz, randy Couture and arguably the best of way the iceman Chuck liddell. While i enjoyed reading your article, i really did well done. I don’t agree that this bloke is could be best of all time.

    • Roar Rookie

      January 16th 2018 @ 12:10pm
      James Bakker said | January 16th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

      Jones is the greatest modern day or WME era threat (if you will) to DC’s road to becoming the greatest. DC has wins over legends of the sport including anderson silva and josh barnet. He’s also beaten rumble johnson twice (one of the scariest dudes to ever compete at LH) and with a win over another scary dude in ozedemir, he can start building his claim. Those guys you have mentioned are all legends, no doubt, but Cormier can stake his claim amongst them, especially without Jones around.

      I think he has already superpassed Rashad at least, though. Rashad never defended the belt and lost his last 4 fights in a row.

    • Roar Guru

      January 16th 2018 @ 1:11pm
      BigJ said | January 16th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

      Silva was a middleweight legend not light-heavyweight. Despite his achievements thus far he has a long way to go before topping the likes of Couture and liddell. Plus he beat barnett in strikeforce, hardly the best promotion in the world. He has jumped up and down divisions. Jones beat him twice. Just saying

    • Roar Rookie

      January 16th 2018 @ 2:18pm
      James Bakker said | January 16th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

      yeah I agree, a long way to go but he has the potential to join those guys, if not surpass some of them.

      Jones will always be considered the goat of LH in my opinion, but with drug use forever hanging over his legacy, it gives DC a chance to possibly move above him.

      • Roar Guru

        January 16th 2018 @ 2:36pm
        BigJ said | January 16th 2018 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

        Only time will tell

    • Roar Guru

      January 17th 2018 @ 12:14pm
      Edward L'Orange said | January 17th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      Nice job mate, but a bit more meat would be good. I’m interested to hear why do you think he’ll be the best, when there are so many other contenders?

      But the fight will be a very interesting one, with real parallels to the main event: a knockout challenger against a grappling master. The main difference between Rumble and Oezdemir I think is that Volkan will come forward harder and more aggressive from the start, which may help to stop DC getting into his rhythm and shooting. That said, I estimate it’ll be about 15 second until the first take-down attempt, and DC should control from there.

      The problem with DC is that he will never be regarded over Jones. Jon Jones is not only the best light-heavy of all time, but possibly the best fighter of all time. Unfortunately he’s also a perennial f-up. But I heard Jeff Novitsky (“The Golden Snitch”) recently saying that although the highest possible ban for Jones is 8 years as a repeat offender, it’s looking tentatively like Jones has once again has taken something stupid which was tainted, not actively doing cycles. If so, his time out will be probably only a year.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 17th 2018 @ 5:53pm
        James Bakker said | January 17th 2018 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

        Ed, that’s a good prediction for the fight, i see it going the same way.

        Hopefully if the golden snitch is right well see him back soon.

        Aside from jones, DC has gone through the division with relative ease and LH is looking a bit thin at the moment. hes been through rumble, gustafasson and silva and his wrestling and overall game is the best in the div in my opinion (aside from obviously jones).

        I feel as though DC gets a bit too much hate from the fans and gets overlooked.

        I could be wrong though, ozedemir is a beast so well see what happens.

    • Roar Guru

      January 17th 2018 @ 1:47pm
      BigJ said | January 17th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      Hey Eddie how are you mate? As for jones being the best fighter i reckon that Gsp and silva would get him in thier primes and possibly even Couture. Plus Jones is like Andrew johns in rugby league. An immortal (one of only eight ) one of the goat but will only be remembered as a pill popper

      • Roar Guru

        January 17th 2018 @ 3:56pm
        Edward L'Orange said | January 17th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

        Hey mate, not doing to bad. You’re not wrong about the Johns comparison. Though to my knowledge Joey hasn’t yet hit a pregnant lady with his car and run off haha.

        But I just honestly think that Jon Jones is the best athlete the UFC has seen, and maybe only second to Mighty Mouse when it comes to skill set. His hight, reach and style just make him so awkward to deal with. Like those front kicks to the knee he was hitting DC with? I don’t even know what you do about that. It’s that reason I don’t think Couture would have been able to deal with him, he’s just too long. And take him to the ground he just wraps blokes up like a spider.

        Silva and GSP were great champions, but they are too small to really think about as a comparison. But when you think about the championship runs they both had, if Jones didn’t keep getting striped of the title, who knows how deep into a run he would be. But you are right that I can’t really call him the greatest, because we just don’t know. I’ll just say he had the potential to be the GOAT. It’s a shame some people just can’t get out of their own way, I guess.

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