Jitters got to Cormier in UFC debut - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Jitters got to Cormier in UFC debut

Daniel Cormier ran into the Octagon at UFC on FOX 7 on Saturday, the heavyweight apparently eager to make his UFC debut.

But he wasnít nearly as active once the fight began. He did get the win, but only by outmaneuvering two-time UFC champ Frank Mir in a listless fight that drew jeers from many of those assembled inside HP Pavilion.

"Obviously, you are going to continue to fight your fight, but you canít ignore that," Cormier said of the boos from a fan base that embraced Cormier during a successful run at Strikeforce. "Thatís something I really donít like. I want to put on exciting fights. I want to be in the fight where people are enjoying it."

It was a rare lackluster bout not only for Cormier, but for the UFC on FOX 7 card. There were eight knockouts, tying UFC 92 for the most KOís on one card.

The fight ended just like Cormierís first 11 pro fights: His hand was raised at the end. There was something, however, that was different, something Cormier said he noticed minutes beforehand.

"I have had very long athletic career and competed at the highest level of all my sports," Cormier said. "I always laughed at (UFC president) Dana (White) when he said there were jitters and there are nerves that come along with this. I was like, ĎMy career had prepared me for this. There was no chance.í

"But, man, I was nervous. I felt so nervous. It was almost like you want it so bad. You want to do so well, and you kind of lay an egg."

It was something that Cormierís coach, Javier Mendez of American Kickboxing Academy, didnít see coming out of Cormier, who nearly medaled in wrestling in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

"He surprised me when he said he was nervous," Mendez told FOXSports.com. "I didnít expect that. I really didnít. Heís always talking about being in the Olympics, etc., etc. I was thinking that the UFC is different because there was more attention, but Iíve never been to the Olympics."

Cormier may not have had the UFC premiere he wanted, and Saturdayís bout seems to have put to rest ó or at least further delayed ó any chance heíll be facing UFC heavyweight champ, training partner and close friend Cain Velasquez.

"Even (if the UFC) said, ĎYouíre going to fight Cain Velasquez next,í I donít think that my performance warranted a title shot," Cormier said. "I have some room (to improve). Weíll get together and figure it out."

Mendez echoed those sentiments.

"One thing is for sure, if they did want him to fight Cain, that performance did not warrant it," Mendez said.

Mendez said he expects Cormier to fight at least once more in heavyweight before the much-speculated move to light heavyweight (205 pounds).

"Itís going to take some time," said Cormier, who weighed in at 235 pounds on Friday. "Thatís the issue. Iím healthy and Iíd be willing fight right away at heavyweight, but if I go down, itís going to take some time.

"I want to do it healthy. I donít want to die."

Cormier suffered kidney failure before the 2008 Summer Games. The ailment ó a product of several years of cutting weight by dangerous means ó kept him out of those Olympics and basically ended his amateur wrestling career.

Cormier told FOXSports.com previously heíd need to be under the supervision of a dietician to get down to a weight he hadnít been at since high school. Itís also possible that Cormier, 34, could do a trial weight cut to see if he can slim down without putting his health at risk.

"I donít tell guys where to go," White said. "He can fight wherever he wants. I respect the fact he knows the champion and theyíve discussed fighting each other. I like that. But if he wants to go down to 205, I wouldnít have a problem with that, either. I think heíd be an exciting addition to the 205-pound (division)."

Unlike his relationship with Velasquez, who is scheduled to face Antonio Silva in UFC 160 on May 25, Cormier has no close ties to Jon Jones, the light heavyweight champ. Jones faces Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 this Saturday.

Cormier may not know his opponent or even which weight division heíll be in next. But whenever and wherever it is, at least the Octagon wonít be foreign.

"More than anything, I felt tired," said Cormier on how the jitters influenced his effort. "I have never gotten tired. Usually, Iím in a fight and I feel great. In this fight, I was kind of tired and I think it was my nerves."
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:25 PM
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did jitters affect him against devin cole, jeff monson or dion sterling too

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:35 PM
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DC has no reason to be apologetic or make excuses. His performance was fine. He outclassed Mir everywhere without much difficulty.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 11:32 PM
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He's already said he wouldn't fight Cain so that angle is irrelevant, not sure why they got a bunch of quotes on it for the article.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by HexRei View Post
He's already said he wouldn't fight Cain so that angle is irrelevant, not sure why they got a bunch of quotes on it for the article.
That's been true in he past, but I'm quite surprised by some of the quotes. It sounds like they might be considering the matchup. For DC to say:-

"Even (if the UFC) said, ĎYouíre going to fight Cain Velasquez next,í I donít think that my performance warranted a title shot. I have some room (to improve). Weíll get together and figure it out."
Is pretty telling. In *every* other interview up to now hes been adamant hes not fighting Cain.
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