Daniel Cormier has heard how dozens of fighters plan to take him out. His opponents are bigger, stronger, hit harder and are faster.
After 21 professional mixed martial arts fights only one man has been able to do what he said he would to beat DC. That man was Jon Jones.
Jones is out of the mix though after a potential USADA violation and Cormier has assumed the throne once again. In front of him now is upstart contender Volkan Oezdemir, who has made waves at 205 pounds with a pair of first-round knockouts of top 10 opponents and a 3-0 start in the UFC.
“No Time” believes he has what it takes to become the second man to beat Cormier.
“I know how you fight,” Oezdemir said to Cormier at Friday’s UFC 220 pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. “I got heart, man. You saw my fight man and I don’t think you’ve seen everything I’m capable of. All my fights were so fast and you’re not going to be different.”
Cormier thinks Oezdemir is crazy to believe he can beat him.
“So many guys go into the fight with the idea that they’re just gonna get me out of there,” Cormier said. “But what happens after five minutes when I’m still pressing you and I’m throwing you down and pushing your head down and making you gasp for air. And then I take you down and I cover your face so you can’t breathe.
“What happens then is they turn over, present their neck and they tap out,” DC continued. “And that’s what’s about to happen to Volkan Oezdemir.”
Cormier’s domination of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who trains with Oezdemir in Florida, seems to be a good indication of how he’ll plan to take out the challenger. Cormier looks to weather the storm, take the big shots and continue pushing forward to test the cardio and toughness of his opponents.
He’s not expecting an easy fight but he said he’s seen this story play out before.
“They’re all tough. I’ve fought kickboxers before, I’ve fought wrestlers, guys with big power and quick guys. I’ll fight the same way,” Cormier said. “I’m going to go forward and press him and I’m just gonna make him work for 25 minutes. If he can withstand that, then hats off to him. I don’t believe he has it in him to do that.”
Oezdemir has won his three fights in just a span of five months. His path to the title shot has been swift and powerful and whether Cormier believes it or not, “No Time” thinks he’s ready.
“I wanted to come and fight for the belt as fast as I can,” he said. “I knew coming into the UFC that I wanted to fight at the top right away. It’s the place and the house for the top guys in the world. I took my first fight versus the number six guy in the world on two week’s notice and I just keep going. I’m ready for the champion now.”
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrino