Undefeated Strikeforce import Daniel Cormier (12-0-0, 5 KOs) couldn’t be any happier now that a bout against Roy “Big Country” Nelson (19-8-0, 12 KOs) is official. The two will meet at UFC 166, scheduled for Oct. 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Cormier said during an interview with Bloody Elbow’s Steph Daniels. “It’s the fight that we’ve wanted for a little bit, and Roy’s wanted. I think it’s going to be a great fight. He’s a guy that brings the fight every time. He’s an exciting fighter. I’m happy to be in there with him.”
Nelson is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic, a loss that instantly removed him from title contention. It’s worth noting that Big Country took the fight on two weeks’ notice, so the “full figured” heavyweight didn’t exactly have enough time to prepare for Miocic, who was clearly the technically superior boxer heading into their UFC 161 encounter. The result: Nelson reverted to his old ways, headhunting all night, while Miocic picked him apart with his crisp boxing.
Cormier doesn’t think Nelson fought anywhere close to his full potential against Miocic, so he doesn’t hold the poor showing against him.
“I’ve said it multiple times that I don’t hold the Stipe Miocic fight against him, being as he took the fight on such short notice,” Cormier explained. “I kind of give him a mulligan. So, in my eyes he’s still on that win streak he was on. He’s a very dangerous guy.”
For Cormier, Nelson is the perfect opponent at the moment, considering the fact it’ll give the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner the opportunity to add another popular UFC heavyweight to his list of victims while moving down to the 205-pound division for a possible fight against current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
It’s also an excellent matchup for Nelson since he’s getting a better opponent that he could have ever hoped for following the loss to Stipe. A win against a tough heavyweight like Cormier would automatically get him right back into contention.
Cormier vs. Nelson is also a solid matchup for fans as it has serious potential for fireworks. Both men are heavy-handed punchers, so there’s a decent chance the fight between the two won’t go the distance if “DC” isn’t over-committed to his wrestling like he was against Mir during his UFC debut.
“It’s no secret as to what he does,” Cormier added. “He’s a great grappler. He’s got big knockout power. And he’s a tough athlete. I think people mistake, they do the eye test on Roy and it gives them a false sense of what they’re stepping in the Octagon with. That’s not gonna happen with me.”