I am worried about the future of Daniel Cormier. He looked great against Josh Barnett, but he's already 33, won't be in the UFC for another fight and he probably won't even fight Cain Velasquez. If Cormier did the best he could -- as a coach to help Velasquez and as a fighter to win his fights -- he ends up in a terrible situation where he can't even fight for the title. What do you think about Cormier's potential in the UFC? How will his training with Velasquez change his UFC Career? -- Mark from Kansas City
Mike Whitman, news editor: I feel you, Mark. I really do.
Go ahead and throw out any number of cliched descriptors to paint a picture of the type of fighter Cormier has become, and most all of them will probably be accurate. Undefeated through 10 pro outings, the American Kickboxing Academy standout has looked especially impressive in his last two bouts, knocking out Antonio Silva in September before outpointing Barnett to win the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix on May 19.
Really, if any of you aren’t high on Cormier by this point, I don’t even know what to tell you. I yelled at the top of my lungs to an empty house when Cormier hoisted Barnett high into the air with that high-crotch, not because I was rooting for Cormier or against Barnett but because of how damned impressive that move was.
Seriously, who does that type of thing to Barnett?
At this point, Cormier’s three worst enemies are his apparently fragile right hand, his age and his relationship with teammate Velasquez, though that last one also certainly comes with its benefits. Iron sharpens iron, and all that.
I am unsure where Cormier’s career will go from here. It’s unclear whom he will face in his final Strikeforce fight, though if he fights a meaningful opponent -- someone like, say, Shane Carwin -- his efforts will not be in vain. A great performance against a Top 10 UFC talent could propel Cormier toward some truly intriguing matchups in the Octagon next year.
I really don’t know if Cormier would fight Velasquez over the UFC title if push came to shove, but I do know there are plenty of other potentially entertaining matchups for the two-time Olympian in the UFC. Title or not, there is no way I would miss Cormier squaring off with Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum.
Will it be a bummer if Velasquez wins the title and Cormier never gets his shot? Sure. But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, we should just enjoy Cormier’s abundance of talent and hope his hand holds together after surgery.
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