Following the conclusion of UFC 166, Daniel Cormier will drop down to the light heavyweight division with hopes of making a run a the 205-pound title and an eventual shot at champion Jon Jones.
Cormier has spoken openly about the myriad of reasons why he’s cutting down to the lower weight class, but paramount in that decision is the fact that as he continues to rise in the heavyweight rankings he does not want to be put in a situation where he could be forced to face his good friend and training partner Cain Velasquez.
Cormier and Velasquez have been teammates for several years, and push each other in training camp for each and every fight they’ve had since first working out together. Their sparring sessions are legendary, but outside of their home gym in San Jose neither fighter has any interest in actually facing the other — whether a title is on the line or not.
Velasquez knows that Cormier’s move is partially motivated by the fact that they don’t want to fight each other, but he’s also aware his teammate really wants to be the one to snatch the title from around Jon Jones’ waist.
"I think it’s both," Velasquez said about Cormier’s reasons for moving to 205. "I think he really wants that fight with Jon Jones and also I think we just want two belts at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy)."
Velasquez was established as a UFC champion before Cormier even got to the UFC, but what if the story had played out differently? What if Cormier was holding the heavyweight title around his waist and Velasquez was sitting behind him as a challenger?
Well, according to the UFC’s reigning and defending heavyweight champion he would have made the move down to 205 pounds as well.
"I would try yeah," Velasquez said about moving weight classes. "I think I could do it."
It’s not likely Velasquez will be trying his hand at light heavyweight any time soon, but its’ an interesting prospect for the future especially for a potential superfight with Jones looming large as the current 205-pound king.