Cormier fighting against his past at UFC 220



"Every time I've stepped in the octagon I feel like I need to make a statement", Cormier said on UFC 220 conference call (transcript courtesy of MMA Junkie).

Daniel Cormier faces the risky Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 next weekend, but it's not the only thing he will be fighting against in the octagon. "There's a certain thing to me, that for some reason people see these guys as true threats to me and that they can just beat me". His past two UFC bouts have lasted just over a minute combined, and Cormier understands that generates excitement. The fight gets going and all of a sudden, it's over. "I'm the guy that's going to change the heavyweight division, who is going to beat Stipe on January 20 and bring more excitement to the heavyweight division which for a long time was nearly forgotten".

"When I went in to that last fight as the underdog even though I was the champion, that's fine, I get it because when you look at Jones' body of work, you see a guy that can compete and win at the highest levels", added Cormier, referencing his UFC 214 clash with his chief rival Jon Jones. "I don't really hit that hard; I think it was just those guys running into my fists and then falling and a lot of that". You got guys like Volkan, and they knock everybody out, so people fall in love with them.

"It's about what you have mentally, all around mixed martial arts game, experience".

"I've never been in that level but I always train for that level".

"I think a lot of those guys just ran into my fists", deadpanned the Cleveland native when asked about fans and media overlooking his string of first-round knockout wins. "This is the fight to determine who is going to be the champion of the world, so what I want is to face the best Daniel and the best fighter in the world right now; that's the one I want to beat". While the result was overturned after Jones tested positive for turinabol, the stench of the losses remains. But my goal is always to go out and dominate, and that's what I've done for the vast majority of my career. As I said before, I couldn't avoid [talking] about these two fights and I had that pressure for two fights.

"That's my cross to bear", he continued. "Now I get my mind set for that and we're going to do it on January 20th". I know I have everything to win this fight. But because I lost, I've got to carry that burden.