Strikeforce heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier exploded on to the mixed martial arts scene at this time last year when he stepped in for an injured Alistair Overeem against Antonio Silva. An underdog coming into the fight, Cormier shocked fans by destroying the highly regarded heavyweight via first round KO, branding the giant with the first true knockout of his then six-year fight career.
Cormier went on to soundly dominate very experienced former UFC heavyweight champion, Josh Barnett in his next fight, handing "The Warmaster" his first defeat in over five years and earning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship.
Though he's gearing up for perhaps his biggest test in Frank Mir, another former UFC heavyweight champion, Cormier also has his eye on what may be the sports' biggest prize; handing UFC light-heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones his first real professional loss.
After the fight with Mir, assuming a win, the 248-pound heavyweight would have to cut substantial weight to get down to the 205-pound limit at light-heavyweight. Though, the issue has already been a topic of conversation apparently with UFC president Dana White.
"Dana already said he thinks I'd do well at 205," Cormier told BloodyElbow.com. If he offered me a fight down there against Jon Jones, and gave me some time to get the weight off safely, shoot, I'd jump on that in a heartbeat. It's like all the guys wanting to fight Floyd Mayweather or Roy Jones when he was the best.
"As a champion, and one of the best fighters in the world, guys should always step up to the plate and want to fight Jon Jones. So, if Dana said, 'Daniel, I'll give you some time to make the weight', I'd gladly take that fight if Cain is the champion at Heavyweight."
The Cain he's referring to is, of course, former UFC champion and current number one contender Cain Velasquez. The two are said to be very close personal friends and have trained together since Cormier started competing in mixed martial arts in 2009. They've stated a reluctance to face one another in the past and Cormier is Velasquez's wrestling coach which complicates the situation.
Velasquez will be squaring off against current champ Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 in the UFC's annual "end of the year" event, typically one of their biggest shows. Cormier hopes to be gearing up for a big show himself around the same time as he's officially putting his hat in the ring for a chance to coach next season of "The Ultimate Fighter," opposite Jones.
"Give Jon a challenge that he doesn't get from most guys, and that's something that I present," Cormier said. "Hopefully, him and I get through our next fight. At the beginning of the year, let us coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. How does that sound? I'm throwing it out there right now. Let's do it.
"He hasn't coached the show before, and neither have I. Let the fans get to know me better by putting me on TV for two and a half months, and then put me and Jon in a fight. Jon's a good wrestler, but I've wrestled at a different level. I'm gonna pressure him. I'm gonna take him down. I think it would be great for everybody, all around.
"I can tell you with 100% confidence in myself and in my ability, that if I was to fight him, or anyone else in the world, at some point in that fight, if I decide to put them on their back, I'm putting them on their back."